finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


So one of the things I'm doing down in Mexico at this crazy residency I got myself director of is to host weekly salons. The idea (stolen really from my friend Cat...who in turn stole it, France, I think) is to gather artists of all stripes (including art lovers) and share works in progress, talk about art, creative process, get feedback, ask questions, engage in dialogue and drink good wine. Everyone contributes in some way.

The community of Akumal has definitely been responding. We have been filled to capacity on almost every night. The attending members are asking questions and engaging in dialogue. It's really lovely.

Last Sunday, we had a 9 year old artist share work. Katerina came with her family the previous week and asked if she could share some of her artwork at the next salon. So I said yes, wanting to support budding artists...and she was astonishing -- articulate, brave and certain. She was so certain. She said she knew someday she would be a famous artist. It was said without a smile or any type of coyness. She was simply stating a fact. When I asked where her ideas for pictures came, she said she simply followed her intuition, followed the pen, drew what felt natural. Duh. I felt stupid asking! How else would she draw? When I asked her what she learned by sharing her art, she said nothing. The better question is what we learned by seeing it. Holy crap. When I told her she should perhaps only share one more picture (after about 30!) she looked at me like I was a ridiculous, sad sack of a human being and certainly 100% wrong to cut her off. (Needless to say, I let her show a few more) :)

She made me think. When do we adults start being fearful? When does fear, uncertainty, nervousness set in? How can we all be certain like Katerina? She taught us all a lesson, I think. Me especially. I have always considered myself brave. I moved to New York! I moved to Mexico! I make surprising, sometimes crazy choices! I'm brave!

But it was her quiet confidence that I coveted. It was her certainty. I want to know things with that certainty. Do you? I feel the older I get, the more I question things. Maybe it's about trust. Maybe it's about thinking less, certainly worrying less. But I don't know. All I know is maybe we all need to be more "Katerina-confident." After all, there is no right or wrong, right? There is only what we know.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I have thought about as well. I don't know anything about Katerina's parents or where she goes to school, but that will play a big role in how she progresses. I stopped being creative when I started going to school and was told by adults to obey the rules and by other children that "this is cool" and "that is icky" (or whatever the words were then). Then the problem is that by the time many of us have shaken all that off we are soooo much older that it is too late to do anything with our dreams other than simply do it for ourselves. I hope Katerina becomes a famous artist. I was thinking the other day that people who are successful at something started when they were very young. I say this as someone who began obsessive study of a performing art when I was over 50 and sleep, eat, and breathe nothing else most of the time, and then cry because I will never catch up with the tsnuami of talented young people who show up in this neighborhood every year and snatch all the opportunities, even the small ones. I always smile when people say they are "brave" because they moved to New York. I am here because my maternal grandparents moved here in 1919. No one in the maternal line ever left or moved anywhere. Sometimes I wish I could move to a small town, far away from Lincoln Center and Juilliard, but then I would need a chauffeur (and nothing is as cheap as my rent regulated apartment here).