I Gotta Be Me

Poems start with a sound, or a phrase, or a word; visual art with a “gesture,” as dance. However we start, we sense a vacuum and fill it through our medium. Making is a process of following the lead of the original impluse. In poetry often in the end we edit it out, the thing that got us going. I imagine it’s the same in visual art. What is important is how that following goes, how it allows, what leaps we take — and the holding off for as long as possible of intention or meaning-making. If we can let the made thing be wholly its inadvertent self, then through the editing process we can refine it so the thing become as clearly itself as possible, given our prowess with the craft. Editing can be thought of as choice-making. Although choices are made along the way as we create, it’s in review and consideration that we can linger to make choices informed by intention. But they have to be led by the made thing, not our hopes and dreams for the made thing.

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