Keeping Busy

When I answer questions about my work, I often get the response: “It’s good you’re keeping busy.” But is it really? Many different projects are vying for attention in my brain, which makes it harder to give my full attention to anything in the moment. Always being on the way somewhere makes me miss opportunities to be fully present and relate meaningfully with family, colleagues, students, shop owners, and the dog in the street. Constant movement deprives me of the stillness I need to notice things.

For an artist it’s not just a personal pleasure to be quiet and notice things, but a responsibility: an artist pays attention on behalf of those who might be too preoccupied. And stillness provides the incubation time needed for genuine creation. Keeping busy, on the other hand, is keeping me from doing the actual work.

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