We spent Saturday afternoon in Davis, because it is worth the 45 mile drive for a bowl of soup and the F.M.L. cocktail from Red 88 Noodle Bar. Davis became a place I go, in 2007, the first year I attended the annual California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art (CCACA), an event hosted by the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts.
After lunch, as we walked through the Natsoulas gallery, I was captivated by some surrealist paintings. I asked an employee who the artist was, and when she began to gush about Avery Palmer, I was full of envy, for artists everywhere who are doing what they love, and for the art collectors who promote them. I mumbled something to my wife about how nice it would be to be a patron of the arts, forgetting, until I began writing this post, that I had pronounced myself just that the day I purchased the piece pictured here, at the 2013 CCACA.
The odd little figure, created by Humboldt State University student Clarissa Pezone, called to me, much like the incense burner had the previous day. I even used the words “visceral response” when I explained the purchase to my wife and stepdaughter. (Incidentally, Humboldt State produces a lot of talented artists, including the aforementioned Palmer.)
Envy without action has nothing to do with waking up famous. If envy itself catapulted the envier into the experience of the envied, it would be nothing more than drafting off another’s fame. It is not the 10,000-plus hours of hard work that make us wistful, it is the results of that work. When the green-eyed monster shows up, as it did for me in the gallery, we envy the having done, not the doing. Grammatically speaking, we long to exist in the present perfect tense, “I have created,” instead of the present, “I create.” According to the Write Place at St. Cloud State University:
Present tense expresses an unchanging, repeated, or reoccurring action or situation that exists only now. It can also represent a widespread truth.
Alas, as the ubiquitous they say, there is no time like the present.
Allowing your present tense to represent your widespread truth is the way to wake up famous. And, like breathing, it is a practice.
So tell me: How do you practice?