I came to the residency with a folded piece of paper with my “How to” questions inked on it. Questions that I wanted to think about while working for a month in my Wyoming studio that overlooked the creek and the snowy hills.
Questions in how to conduct myself as an artist, a woman, a humanist in these ambiguous times:
How to be cerebral without intellectualizing?
How to be spiritual but not religious?
How to be intuitive but not sentimental?
How to feel without emoting?
How to be an observer without being an intruder?
How to be kind without enabling?
How to be ambitious without succumbing to narcissism?
How to be motivated without being obsessed?
How to forgive without becoming a doormat?
How to be tolerant without justifying mediocrity?
How to love without being submissive?
How to be still without being petrified?
How to be immersed without drowning?
Midway through my residency walking through a fallow field with mud caked boots I saw an antelope. We both interrupted our momentum and stared at each other. Her black eyes were dull yet dense with awareness. She did not see me and at the same time, she saw all of me. She was an animal that contained countless ancients under her tick ridden coat. Before she continued on her way she gave me the most beautiful gift. I returned to my studio with an empty mind. Amnesia should be the way of the mind while in the studio.