On Making Things, Especially Excuses...

Pampas grass wreath in progress.

Pampas grass wreath in progress.

I have taken a real interest in my mom's ability to create things.  In her heyday she was a florist and often won awards for design.  These days however she needs assistance with everything.  She can't fix her own meals, she struggles dressing herself...  Routine activities are requiring increasingly more supervision, yet somehow she is able to maintain a creative edge.

A girl and her craft.

A girl and her craft.

I am starting to understand her dementia.  She has "moderate to advanced" Alzheimer's and her condition is stealing her logic, but not when it comes to art.  With art, or anything creative, you have to wonder if the impulse contains logic in the first place.  While she can't make decisions and process right or wrong, she still understands color and balance with a beauty that makes sense.  When I am making something I still ask for her input. She can't articulate what something needs or what I need to do in effort to adjust things to the eye but she can still contribute an opinion if I ask questions the right way.  "Should I add this or that? Use a color or stay neutral? Put the detail here or here?" The big picture overwhelms her but when presented with something specific, she knows... 

The Lioness

The Lioness

Her hands manipulate materials and continue to produce exceptional works of beauty so long as I provide them the opportunity. I literally enable the flow of her creativity which is profound at times, especially when I think of the things holding back my own.  Alzheimer's holds her back but what's my excuse?  I wish I could tell you something other than an endless chain of excuses.  Nothing clinical but still, excuses upon excuses and they keep me from the creations that exist in my mind.

So today I have some questions for you.  Who would you be if you stopped getting in your own way?  What would you make or do?  Who or what would you become and what is it that's stopping you?  If we all have the capacity to create, why don't we?  I wonder if your excuses are the same as mine...