Last weekend, we all flew up to New Hampshire to see Adrianne's sister graduate with her Master's degree. I'd been there once before, but we flew into Logan and spent most of our time in Boston. This time, we flew into Manchester, which is a tiny airport by comparison. It actually reminds me a little of Burbank — my favorite airport to fly in and out of when I go back to visit Southern California. We arrived pretty late and most of the airport was closed. Usually they are so chaotic with passengers arriving and departing but after midnight, everything is quiet — especially in these smaller, regional airports — and they feel strangely surreal, as if finally allowed to exhale from the busy day.
I've hesitated sharing this because I didn't think it was relevant to making or art or creativity. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that in many ways it underscores both what and why we make and it's one of the Big Questions that has come up time and time again on episodes of On Taking Pictures: Am I where I need to be?
When I was in college, I carried half a head of purple cabbage around in a Ziplock bag in my backpack for two weeks. Do you have any idea what happens to a head of cabbage after two weeks of going from a cool refrigerator to all day in a balmy backpack? It wasn't pretty. Nor was it by choice.
It took me those years to realize that it didn't matter where, or even if the things I make are displayed anywhere outside of my own home or studio. That's not the point. The point is that they exist and were made and released into the world. The point is to make — to conjure an intangible something from the ether of nothing and mold it, shape it, form it into a tangible something. The art is in the transformation. That's the point and it's something that I didn't realize when I put my brushes down.
I've been thinking a lot about words, lately — more than usual. I love words. Always have. Not just as language, but the words themselves. The way they sound when spoken, the way they look when written and what they mean or represent beyond the Merriam-Webster definition. For example, my grandfather never carried a wallet, he carried a billfold. You could argue that they are literally representative of the same thing, but the meaning or what they evoke — at least for me — can be significantly different.