(Kim: Joan, I
am getting really impatient with not spending all my time making
do I get that. Away from home, away from the usual stimuli
and demands, the feelings and ideas and words feel like
are a bubbling fount. I think we are not aware of how much creative
energy gets siphoned off in the daily humdrum business of
much of our
But then something interesting happens...like a good conversation
I think...darn, I would have missed
if I wasn't
Yes, I get that, too.
But I still think our time to make and think deeply about art is
far too limited. In my life and in yours. And in the
wider cultural life.
We need to find ways to protect that sacred space.
Conversations with others are very important. Because they are
But our first and most significant conversation must be with ourselves,
our primary relationship. Making art is the telephone line to
Sometime, as in a good conversation, the longer we stay with it,
the more we realize that there is to say.
That is where the frustration comes in.
You and I have created a partial solution to the issue of time. We
have created a structure in which we are responsible to ourselves and
to each other to make art on a daily basis. I am so glad we are doing
Like all solutions, it is not perfect. I do not believe in perfection. It
is a utopian concept that gives us something for which we can continually
reach. Like Sisyphus.
But our daily practice is something. As Anne Lament says so simply
and eloquently, "Bird by bird."
(Kim: I like what William
Blake said, "without unceasing practice nothing can be done.
Practice is art. If you leave off you are lost.
today to an exhibit of Tom Hucks large complex woodcuts. I was
very impressed with
his technique, but totally uninterested in his images. I was
telling Linda at dinner how I was having trouble expressing what
bugged me about his images, and then I said that I hate narrative
art. She started laughing because my art always has a story.)
what I want to do. I want to figure out a way that I can
spend more time making art.
There is so much I want to do.
Write more poetry.
Write more music and lyrics.
Write more articles for general publications but only
on subjects that interest me.
Write more stuff with you. I would do anything with
you, Kim. Truly.
Write a book with my sister.
Write a book with myself.
That is what I hope to do. Now I have to figure out
And despite the many demands on both of our time:
you as a dean, me as an arts administrator and artistic
you as a family man (Kim: and grandfather to me), me as a family daughter
both of us as friends and as people who care about
despite all of this...
if we get to a certain point in our lives—Hell,
why am I mincing words—if we are on our proverbial
should we be fortunate enough to
have that conscious time and stage setting, and
we look back and feel that huge pull of regret that
we did not
make the art that we wanted
I also worry about regretting not eat bbq ribs and getting the
sauce all over my
feel that regret and deep sorrow...
we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
We are responsible to make and protect our art.
No one else.
And you know what? I think this little exchange is
Wed, Jan 25, 2006