Drift, gouache on illustration board, 16" x 20"
A couple of days ago, Greg, Coco and I went for a hike (Coco actually flushed out an owl) and finished up at the nearest Starbucks. On my coffee cup was the following quote:
The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life. – Anne Morriss
I liked it. Twenty years ago I might have argued with it, but since that time, experience has taught me otherwise. Long-term commitment has been a struggle for me, but I made the uncharacteristically wise decision early on to hook up with a commitment-minded person. Greg has taught me about stick-with-it-ness. Sometimes I've considered it borderline obsessiveness (and sometimes it even has been!), but I know now that without his deep and grounding influence I might have thrown in the towel (in many types of situations) more often than I'd care to admit. It's taken a long time to see that long-term commitment really is liberating, particularly when it comes to work and relationships. I think that even the hoard v. purge struggle in which Greg and I regularly engage is a reflection of this. The above painting, for example, was done over 25 years ago, the summer before I took my first painting course. (I took art in school before going to university but never took any dedicated painting classes before second year.) I have wanted to toss it out countless times over the years but Greg hasn't let me. Today I looked at it with new eyes and was really glad he'd stepped in. Great art it's not, but it is a testament to where I started and I've even come to like it. I've committed to painting for eight years now (and to Greg for 22) and am starting to feel like I've finally learned a thing or two.
Check out the short video Heather posted today on dealing with the resistance that can kill commitment.