Orchestrating an Artful Day

Lamont Symphony Orchestra Conductor Lawrence Golan Today is an errand day for me.  I try to cluster domestic tasks into one day, and then just plow through them with grit.  Grocery store, pharmacy, car wash, tailor, SS papers to the accountant, balsamic vinegar at the Meat Market (best in town), bank, and more.  At the end of the day I'll be happy these tasks are completed, but I'll have a niggling feeling that I didn't really accomplish anything. Not "accomplishing" means I haven't given sufficient time to my creative work.  This feeling (guilt, regret, urgency?) is important to note--and get a grip on--because it's not a happy or productive feeling.  Nor is it even representative of the broader flow of my life.

For instance, yesterday I had a glorious white space day (my term for nothing on the calendar).  After a morning yoga practice, I came home determined not to leave the house for the rest of the day.  I wanted to follow my artful curiosities.  I had a wonderfully long writing session.  I spent an hour and a half drawing.  I listened to a webcast by Eckhart Tolle.  I had a conference call with a graphic designer about my new logo talking about colors (how fun is that?).  I took two long walks with Dash, moving slowly and watching attentively as she nosed her way through the lush world of grass and shrubs. I did a Blue Sky Meditation stretched out in the back yard.  I took my time making a tasty sweet potato and black bean taco and sat out in the back porch enjoying it with a glass of pinot noir.  By 8:30 p.m., as the shade deepened in my little back yard, I was filled with a sense of creative accomplishment.

I want to remind myself of the variety of ways we can live an artful life while simultaneously living the busy life of a householder.  It’s all a matter of how you orchestrate your time.  Days like yesterday may not be the norm, but even in busyness we can cultivate skillful ways to infuse artfulness into the flow of our days. I usually encourage tending to a creative practice a little bit each day.  And for many of us, this is the best way to maintain a creative practice.

But periodically, try blocking out a larger chunk of time to let the mind wander and wonder, and sink into that deeper space of seeing and responding.  Give yourself the delicious gift of a long writing session instead of fifteen minutes dashed off in the journal; or a series of meandering walks with the dog, instead of a quick trip out to get business done; or healthy lunch of mindful eating instead of grabbing something in the drive-through.  For me, a leisurely ebb and flow between writing, drawing, walking, and meditating really gets my creative juices flowing and often sends me to new places of insight or productivity.  Each activity seems to fuel the others.

It's really important to orchestrate time so you create the space that is conducive to finding your artful mind.  Artfulness is obliterated by the busy mind.  We all respond to different daily orchestrations, so experiment with ways to create the time and space to fuel yourself creatively.   Some days, we gotta run errands; and no matter how busy we are, we eventually make time to do these necessary tasks. Are you also making clear and open spaces for your creative life to unfold?

Thanks for stopping by the ArtLife Studio!  I hope you find some white space for your own creating today.


Photo:  University of Denver via Compfight

LifeArtLezlie Laws