Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You need a brain and hands to fly a kite

Several times now, on the way to pick Orion up from school, I've seen a little old man in the street with a kite. Every time I've seen him there's been no wind at all. Maybe he's strange. Maybe he's a bit off, possibly he's insane, judging by the intensity of his effort. Yesterday, there he was again, crazy old fool.
On the other hand,I thought, maybe he's a freaking genius.
Orion and I passed him again on the way home. His kite was soaring!
He grinned with joyful abandon. Everything about him spoke of contentment.
It is what it is what it is.
Today I thought about the difference between hard work and difficult work. I tend to be a productive sort of person and it takes an effort of will sometimes to accept the fact that part of my job is thinking. I don't know exactly where it comes from, but I feel truly productive only if I see concrete results, e.g. a spotless kitchen, a finished sculpture, a deadline met. Lots of people think this way. (Luckily, everyone doesn't.) We try to do too much in a day instead of balancing things out.
My brain feels lost without my hands. My hands must validate my brain?
For me, hard work is finishing and painting 30 Ratbag figurines. Difficult work is sorting out the gearing for a kinetic piece or finding the metaphor that connects two distinct visions, or working out the studio budget for a year.
When I spend a day on difficult work, even when I make marked progress, I must actively resist the temptation to top the day off with a bit of hard work. I must recognize that thinking, doing difficult work, or making long-term decisions is as valid as work I do with my hands.
Possibly I should fly a kite. The answer is as likely there as anywhere else.
Everything is connected in one way or another.
On the above image---I thought the photo begged to be a fake movie poster. Anytime you see an image on this blog that strikes you with an idea, poster away! We had fun on the forums with LOL Poppets. B-movie poppets might be fun too. You can post them there yourself. I can link to them from here.


Carl V. Anderson said...

That is a film I would love to see!!! I look at it and hear the prototypical zombie line "Braaaaiiinnns".

"Everything is connected in one way or another." Isn't it though? I have been so completely conscious of connections lately that it is bordering on an obsession. I wrote a bit about it in my Brian Froud post recently and it has just been running around in my head ever since. The degrees of separation between interests, discoveries, things going on in my life and the way they are connected is just fascinating.

Rubius said...

ooh bloody fingers. creepy. somehow I didn't see that before.

I just love the soups... they are just freaking great!!!

Deirdre said...

love this post. i feel the same way but opposite -- when I'm working with my hands, I rush rush rush to get it done. the thinking's over, so the project should be over, right? i need to remind myself to slow down and let the object come to fruition.