A Bird in the Hand
The old proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” took on new meaning for me this week. Typically the idiom is described as meaning its better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more and lose everything. I’ve always thought of this phrase as having a bit of the coward in it, a fear of taking the leap into the unknown but this week I turned this little nugget upside down to find a deeper wisdom. You remember, dear reader, from last week’s post that I was kvetching about a challenge I’m doing for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I was given packet of Grafix materials and asked to feature them in a piece of art. For several days I was struggling “what to do, what to do?” pulling my hair out. So last Friday I decided to leave the slate blank and let it filter in. On Sunday I reread the email from Barbara Delany (assistant editor at CPS) in it she says “We are asking you to create artwork in your signature style, using the Grafix product”. Somehow this spoke to me in a different way. Use your signature style she said, be you, right then the phase a “bird in the hand” popped in my head. It came to me that there is no cowardice in digging down and doing what you know, there is wisdom in looking inward, taking stock and making something new out of what you have. This little fissure in my creative clog was all I needed to have productive, invigorating, satisfying studio day, a day unlike any I’ve had for months. And so I beseech you to turn inward when you find yourself flailing, grab hold of your greatest gifts, the birds flitting by are so bright and beguiling we forget we’ve been building a little nest in our hearts all along, each little stick of life experience tucked in to hold a rare and beautiful bird.
I got so inspired I made two very distinct pieces with the Grafix materials I’ll show the other one next week.