Art, Human Wave

Planning Ahead

I have to admit, a friend’s comment elsewhere caught my attention and kind of sums up how I feel right now. Like there are storm clouds looming on the horizon, and I’m bracing for the gust front to swirl through the yard, tossing leaves high into the air… Doom is falling. It just hasn’t landed yet. 

Which is exactly why I’m planning for the future. When I was a younger woman, a storm wasn’t ‘batten down the hatches’ it was ‘dance in the rain.’ And so I have, more than once. I can remember being old enough to know better, dancing through puddles, then stopping to look up and watching the tornado bounce from one hilltop to the other, right over the holler we were standing in. I’m crazy, I know. Storms can be lethal. Often are. Storms can also be times of rejoicing that we’re alive, against all odds, and where there is life, there is hope. 

Which is why I’m planning for the future. Whatever comes, it will be. Best I can do is get things in order. I can’t predict everything that will happen. Eighteen months ago I was begging for calm, and instead a storm of panic struck the world, and the whole dam’ globe lost it’s collective mind. Not that it was ever going to be good. No. But now? Both sides are lunatic in their frenzy to hand off blame to someone, anyone else. It’s a virus. Technically, it’s not even alive, let alone self-aware. It’s not out to get anyone. Humans, though… power-seeking takes any chance it can get, and boy, is it taking. 

So here we are. And what am I going to do through the storm, as the wind starts to tug at the edges of my world? I’m going to make art. 

Yep, you heard me. 

October is coming. That means thirty-one days of art, a piece every single day. Following the route I’ve taken the last couple of years, I’ll be doing N’inktober. No ink. Just art. 

Why art? Well, why not?  Civilization is lost, indeed, when we can no longer appreciate beauty, or at least the attempt through another’s eyes. I refuse to focus on the bleak, the dark, the despair. I’d rather imagine what an opalescent kilt looks like, and then render that somehow. 

The list of prompts is, as always generated through the kindness of friends. Members of my art groups on Facebook and MeWe contributed single word prompts, and I created a doubled column of them, then randomized. What you see is the result, and it is going to be a fun month to illustrate. I mean, right off the bat, therapeutic calliope? Man, this is going to be a blast! 

This is what keeps us all going. There’s a future. We might not know what it’s going to look like. We might have no inkling of what lies around the corner. All we can do is make plans, and hold hope dear. Humanity is resilient. We’ve been through worse. A hundred years from now, there will still be babies smiling, and art being made. I promise you. 

In the meantime? Join me for a creative month of art, or writing, or whatever tickles your fancy. If you’ve been stagnant? Prompts are here! Let go of the fear, and the clouds in your mind, and join me dancing in the puddles. We will see the rainbow on the other side together. 

11 thoughts on “Planning Ahead

  1. I very much respect these sentiments.
    The remnants of Hurricane Ida went through New York Harbor last week, and while we were secure ahead of time, the wind caused us to occasionally part mooring lines despite our best efforts. By a monstrous lack of oversight that cost someone his job, none of the deckhands knew how to splice 16 and 32-strand hawser line. It’s been a long time since I was an Able-Bodied Seaman. I had hair, and didn’t have more wrinkles ’round my eyes than a cat’s ass, but I got to run outside and host an impromptu all-hands marlinespike seamanship clinic at 2am in 50knot winds and monsoon rains. And you know, it was exciting and we were all smiling (I was trying not to, being the Old Man)., despite there being a sunken pier directly to leeward that would have torn the guts out of us had we broken free. But in the moment, we were so ALIVE. It’s been a long time since I felt that. My fingers were bright red and blown up like hotdogs after. No calluses like the old days.
    I believe you are correct when noting that this is separate from the time of preparation. Maybe it’s whistling past a graveyard. That feeling of being alive in the moment I had, I bet the feeling you get from creating while the world goes mad is probably the exact same thing. The Tom Hanks moment in Cast Away when he starts a fire. “Look what I have created!” I get that.

    1. Way back when I was a sprout, I was involved in Search and Rescue. We did a lot of training, which was sometimes fun but usually long hours of boredom. The searches I was involved in? When it got real? The feeling is electrifying.

      Art is my sanity place. Like… no matter how the Helena Handbasket is swaying under me, I can tuck into this little place and find satisfaction in creation. When it’s good, I’m transported out of my head, away from painful reality.

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