When I used to practice yoga very regularly, up to five times a week, I often had this thought: “The problems in my life are the same problems I encounter in yoga.” It was as if all of the places I found difficulty in life I also found difficulty in a smaller, more metaphorical or symbolic way, on the mat.
On some days, I consider myself to be (in a minor way) an action painter. Recently, I received some very helpful, professional feedback on my work. As I walked back to my truck and loaded my canvases inside I had a familiar thought: “The problems in my life are the same problems in my paintings.”
I have difficulty finishing things. I often have difficulty remaining committed so something once it has begun. I am so extremely generous at times and other times very stingy. I often doubt the decisions I have made after I make them. I am a very excitable and curious person, this is not really a bad trait, just can make working difficult.
I also think it is interesting the correlation between yoga and painting. That I would make the same type of inference from two things which seem so different. Well the key that links the two activities is that they are action oriented. In both you have to just feel yourself in your body, solidly rooted in yourself, and trust that you already know how to do what you are going to do.
This is relevant too to the work I am beginning to make now. The work is about the body, my body, as I sense it in space, as it relates to proprioception properties. For example, laying in bed in the dark how can you know where your toe is or you nose? You have this knowledge because of your proprioception capabilities.
Proust wrote about a similar problem of knowledge in relationship to objects or matter. Marcel wonders in Swann’s Way how do we know that the objects we are viewing aren’t moving? How do we know if what makes them appear still is our viewing of them. That as viewers of the objects in the room we pin them down – in a way. As someone who thinks a lot about viewership, this struck me as I listened to In Search of Lost Time/Swann’s Way.
These are all things relevant to my new work: movement, knowledge, and materiality.
I think I will begin to do more yoga again. I think there are some insights for my painting waiting for me on the mat. But not today. Today I am supposed to go for a run.
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