Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter from the President

When my husband and I moved into our current apartment, we were amazed by the giant back yard the place came with. Yards like ours are rare in city apartment dwellings, because most landlords would simply use the land to build another house. The yard was covered in blackberry brambles, morning glory vines, bermuda grass, and mint that had gone completely rogue. It also had trees that were still producing persimmons, peaches, plums, jujubes, and apricots. We both immediately saw what the yard could be, and after several years of beating back the wild growing hordes, we've managed to create a garden retreat.

I killed many gardens before getting to the one I have now. I was really good at going to the garden center, dropping a bunch of money on plants, throwing them into the ground, and then completely forgetting that I planted some stuff until a month had passed. Over and over I did this, until I was pretty sure that I had no talent for gardening, and I would never be a gardener. But then I figured out the key: maintaining my attention on the garden, otherwise known as regular tending. With this simple activity, I have found that I can, in fact, grow things.

Making art is much the same way. Sometimes I can find myself giving up on ideas because they didn't immediately come out the way I wanted them to. I'm starting to see that this is the equivalent of throwing a plant into the ground, not watering it, then wondering why the plant is not growing. Maybe instead of assuming it was a bad idea, a regular and daily return to the process of working the idea out is the way to make it grow. What do you think?

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