Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Filters Wide Open

August 15, 2018

I was listening to an NPR show explaining how we evolved from the primates who tended to be jumpier when hearing rustling in the leaves. This is important to understand, that we are the offspring of the ones who wondered if that was a predator rather than the ones who thought it was just the wind. Our genetic heritage to evaluate sensory input on many levels, including through the “how could this possibly end” filter, promotes survival but can also lead to a form of paralysis if one’s filters are running at full throttle. I started thinking about wide open filters in relation to my art, and wondered if I couldn’t use this information to help overcome the fear of starting something new.

Two years ago, I bought this kit in Maryland. It is part of the 2016 Row By Row promotion. I also bought a couple of Row By Row kits from my local quilt shops, because I thought they would go together well. Then I put the kits in a bag, and let them marinate because I was nervous about making the heron from the Maryland kit. Until I heard the story on NPR, I thought I was just a fraidy-cat. Now I know my “what could possibly go wrong” filters were in overdrive. I could imagine all the ways I could destroy that heron, ruin the quilt, bring about the collapse of the entire quilting industry, and end Western civilization as we know it. “Self,” I said, “it is time to ignore those potential futures and see what actually happens.”

The heron came out okay after all. So did the rest of the row.

Luck and wisdom!

Inspiration Prompt #4

July 16, 2018

Neither my computer nor any of my electronic devices are working today. I am writing on a borrowed device, which is always scary. My prompt today is to describe fear. When I was training for my first black belt test, I wrote terror haiku. If poetry doesn’t work for you, use what does (except for scribbling on the wall with permanent marker – that creates a whole other level of anxiety).

Lani Longshore nail file

When I finish chewing my nails, I will need this file.

The Scary Month

October 4, 2017

I love Halloween. I love the scary movies, candy corn, costumes and bat jewelry. This year, however, the month is starting out more scary than I’d like. It seems a little sacrilegious to indulge in horror movies when the whole world is living in one.

That’s the origin of Halloween, the acknowledgement that life is pretty darn scary. People have always created rituals to help with fear, ease grief, share joy. How those rituals change over the generations is a testament to humanity’s willingness to adapt, and to its stubborn optimism that the future is worth the effort.

That’s where artists (including writers) help the most. We’re blindingly optimistic, even when our inner critic is screaming at how unworthy we are. We still create. We adapt to all sorts of things – new technology, art trends, the rising cost of our favorite media. We find a way to create.

Healing a wounded world won’t be easy, or cheap, and we may never know if our approach is the best. Do what you can. Do it with love. Take the scary month, the scary year, the scary life, and make your own rituals to cope, to thrive. Be artist strong.

Looking for beauty in the dark

Luck and wisdom!