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dogs and sweaters:was art schools, etc.

updated wed 21 apr 10


Stephani Stephenson on mon 19 apr 10

OK, I'm letting my mind wander=3D20
the art school/no art school. etc thread caused me to remember a Gary Lar=
"Far Side " cartoon,=3D20
The one where a dog is listening to it's human speaking .=3D20=3D20
I think the cartoon had a dialog bubble next to the human, which was ful=
of meaningless quotation marks, with the exeption of the dogs name. sort =
i.e. the dog recognizes only it's own name ,in the sea of people langua=
(apologies to dogs, I know they understand more)
SO, in this analogy , we are the dog, and let's say the world of art is t=
'language'. The language , heavy and rich in vocabulary ,is out there, be=
spoken every day, all the time. A veritable cacophony ! In fact we couldn=
possibly hear all of it all the time or our poor dog heads would explode=3D=

like one of those pots.=3D20

What we do hear are 'words' which 'call ' to us. You could say , in the
music, in the din, what we hear is our name. Sometimes an object calls to=

us, sometimes a process, sometimes a teacher, sometimes something
lessmidentifiable. Just like the dog, our ears perk up ,we are curious, =
we pay attention to that which call to us. It is not incongruous at all,
that one might hear calling from seemingly contradictory places . For
example , it is entirely reasonable that you can value a formal education=

and at the same time understand cautionary tales about it.=3D20
Some people hear their 'name' clearly at a young age and they begin to sa=
and sing it in a vibrant way early in life. Some spend years trying out
different words, saying them, sounding them, some spend years following a=

sound they aren't sure of. some of us try out buckets of words, some just=
a few.

The image that came to mind , and I am going to switch metaphors in a way=

that would make any writing teacher seasick, was, that from each of our
callings, we pull a length of yarn. We pull one from here and one from
there. that is how we begin to tell our story, define our work. Those are=
gifts we pull from our travels, our listening, our lives.=3D20
A parent , a teacher, a visit to a museum, standing before a work that
inspires you,hours shaping something with your hands and heart, our many=

experiences in life each provide us a length of yarn, but it is up to us =
knit them together.=3D20
Up to us to knit together all our influences and experiences and explora=

No one is just going to hand us the whole dang sweater.
Stephani Stephenson