Art is the name for the thing you see other people making.
The thing YOU are making, you don’t tend to give it kind names.
You are making:
- It up
- Too big a deal out of things
- Everybody else pick up your slack while you waste your time and everybody else’s
What do you want to make?
It’s so hard to tell, when you are so motivated by duty and performance to score social points. It becomes, more like, what do they want me to make?
They want me to make:
- Them laugh
- Them feel good
- Them money
- Them look good
I can do that. And I do, do that. And after a while, we get back to the question: what do you want?
How can I know what I want, if I am constantly in the proximity of sensing the needs and desires of others? I need to push them away. Fully assert self-hood and be done with the “what will people think” module; a forceful self-assertive shove into the proverbial printer.
Now that I’m alone, what do I want to make?
I want to make:
- It right
- People like me again
This is hard.
Is there any quietness where my own desires can be heard, and not drowned out by the radar-pings of what I pick up from others?
I want to make:
- The world a better place
- A fun day for my family
- A dent in the universe
- Books — drinks — music
- Tidied-up houses, sometimes
- Great decisions
- Breakfast — scrambled eggs, with sausages. And coffee.
- Made-up stories
- A clearly integrated path and narrative between my employment, my skills, my gifts, my passions, my calling
- A clear permission slip to enjoy life and have fun without trying to solve anything
This is a trick question.
“What do you want to make?” Is so…industrial, imperial. Colonial. Why the fabrication? Why the productive-mindset? Why the impose-your-force-and-will-upon-the-world frame? Why are we centering it on ME, as the maker?
What wants to get made?
What is trying to get made?
What does the maker want?
What is being unmade?
What got made that isn’t being seen?
What can I help others make?
What makes me?
What will be?
How can I participate in the now, quietly, creatively, collaboratively?
What if there are principles — of interconnectedness, of wholeness, of love — that once were core to humanity. The way things were. The way things could have been.
What if our constant makery is still drowning them out? What if what we need is to unmake our haste, and simply return to that?
This, in not theory alone, is Indigenization. Resurgence. Decolonization.
I know I’m not yet grasping anywhere close the depth and possibility and intensity of those words.
I do know that our colonial customs are drowning out and stepping on ways of being that must be, and will be, heard.
Stop it with your ceaseless making, striving, self-centered output. Cease with your noisy gongs. Come here and listen to the burbling stream in your backyard. That tiny meadowlark chirping in your heart. It’s the very tweet of the universe.