Tangents, Other Passions, and Balance

Posted on Aug 6, 2008


Spending time on the computer can be so all engrossing and so often a frustrating waste of time that I often find myself avoiding it just so I can have a life.  That’s the nature of my attention.  I love to become engrossed in the moment with worthwhile pursuits.  I thrive on problem solving–facing challenges and throwing myself at them full force.  I love the feeling of accomplishment after a job well done and get a thrill out of biting off huge chunks of work at a time.  In order to achieve that focus I try and tune out all distractions and direct my full will on the job at hand.

So what I’m saying is that if I periodically drop out of sight, fear not.  Something is brewing behind the scenes.  Right now it’s electricity.  Literally.  I’ve been spending much of the past couple weeks wiring my studio.  I’m part way through insulation, and then will come drywall.  I’m aching to get back in and create, and have been spending as much time as possible working toward that end.

While I get a thrill testing my capacity to tackle new tasks, it is somewhat of a ride swinging on the pendulum of my passions.  You artists know what I mean.  My appreciation of extreme focus comes partly from the relief it provides from the straining pull of diverse personal interests.  I always want to do everything.  Inevitably I let a few of those things in.  Besides working really hard on the hilltop (renovating the studio, clearing brush, new grey water, etc.), I have been reveling in the natural beauty of California, melting in the glorious summer weather, warming to the joy of new found community and friends, loving family, and gardening. 

It’s a pain in the neck to garden here as there’s not much but rocks and leaves to start with.  The garden beds are raised and have soil that was built over years.  Despite amending the beds and thouroughly turning them every year, I was dissapointed with the slow start the veggies made this spring.  I began feeding them liquid organic ferts and and now the eggplants look like they might eat me.  Determined to build better soil I have been raking leaves and shredding paper to bulk up the compost of daily veggie scraps we create.  Raccoons might still eat the melon rinds but I’m determined to stay ahead of them.  I shredded my Kaiser health care catalog and composted it.  It was all I got from my recent bout of employer funded health insurance.  It will feed my plants and they’ll feed me.  It’s probably healthier than their insurance.

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