The Art of Napping
CK and I have a summer reading goal to get through THE WAR OF ART which is a book I have read before but I need a reminding. Our goal was to read it first thing over coffee together. (We are some of those exMormons who have found the joy of coffee-fueled mornings in our middle age. Better late than never!) But our goal was derailed when I remembered that I had to switch the laundry first thing after I went for my morning walk, and CK had to get Anson out to Vineyard for his second dose of the COVID vaccine. Then we had several break downs in the management of our kids' morning jobs report and Darla needed to be walked, the weekend babysitter needed to get paid, and waffles had to be made.
But by the afternoon we had a good 5 minutes before CK had to finish off some contract work. We retreated to our bedroom where we lied on the bed and CK read the first chapter. It was very short. One thing I love about that book are the short chapters. What artist doesn't love a short chapter? The first chapter is about the importance of showing up to make art.
I sat thought about what I consider art in my life. I've always considered it writing. But today it dawned on me that my art is my life--it's the way I choose to raise my children and curate their experiences. It's the way I treat my home like a canvas to be creatively organized and artfully decorated. It's the playlists I constantly compile to be played all day long. It's the food we eat around comfortable tables inside and out. It's the wardrobe I choose to wear and the laundry skills that make it possible. It's the hikes I take with the dog and the way I see the world from the mountains and lakes and rivers that surround us--the pictures of which sometimes end up inspiring me to make art on social media. It is the way I prioritize friendships that color our world. It's the method utilized that keeps my marriage humming along and gives us both moments of ecstasy.
It's the way I see art everywhere. In the grass and the roses and the mundane.
I have always approached life as art.
And I know that isn't the same for everyone.
And I also know that "lifestyle art" isn't new.
But I see it now as my art.
20 minutes later we both woke up to my phone alarm beeping in my pocket. I looked at CK, he looked at me. Surprise! We fell asleep. He jumped up and stretched, "Gotta go!" As he turned to go back down to his office I rolled off the bed myself remembering how there are many days where I don't want to do my work. Some days I spend the entire day hiding in my room, curled up in my bed, checked out. But thinking of my life as art, and the world we live in as a canvas, is helping me see that I'm not a non-entity in my own life. Actually I am artist, who makes her own choices, and plays her own songs and shows up in her own life. And I am not some brilliant, consistent creator. I take plenty of days off.
But I keep showing up.
And that's the first rule of making art.