Today, or maybe every day, I can’t help thinking how so much of life is about the choices we make — and those that are made for us — sometimes by our allowing and other times in spite of our kicking and screaming. I can’t help wondering how our choices combine to make us who we are. What would you have done, and who would you be, if life — in all its incarnations — had not interfered? Who would I be? Would I still make art if I had grown up like other little girls? Would I write if I hadn’t been too shy to speak? Would I have danced if I had been good at kickball? Would I be a mosaicist if drawing came naturally to me? Am I a laundry list of second choices, or was I blind to a deeper truth for too many years?
Have my choices been internal or external? Of me, despite me, or not me at all? And the choices I make for 2023, now that I’m old(er) and (wise)er, will my choices be more on target, or have I learned to settle? Will I wish for more of the same because my life is blessed, or does my spirit still long to blaze a trail?
I’ve never been called spontaneous, and I’m tickled pink to love what I love. I’m happy to eat the same cereal every morning, wear the same leggings, and walk the same well worn streets (of Rome, preferably).
But in the minutiae of life, I confess that I have a special affection for the unexpected — the tarnish on the bling, the twisted touching skirts with the sublime. Our time on earth is so very much not a one-note dance, and I love the barely-noticed reminders of LIFE where we seldom think to look. And so it’s a no-brainer that I will select at least a bit of the everyday to tell my story through mosaic.
And of course here’s the thing: I like to think that my choices in art, as my choices in life, are intensely deliberate. But 90% of the time it’s the deliberate choices that I end up tossing into the bin, and the seemingly random finds that grab my heart. It’s almost as if my presence on this earth is not only arbitrary, but completely unnecessary — as if the “I” that I so carefully cultivate is no more than a worker bee robot for someone else’s fresher ideas, clearer vision, spot-on choices.
And so I end 2022 much the same as I started it — working, dreaming, becoming, creating, loving, encouraging, choosing — and wondering how much of my life has to do with me, and how much of it could have been the guy down the street.
But I’m learning one thing: in the end, it probably doesn’t matter. Maybe being the vehicle is a cool enough ride.