Listening to the Length

I glanced at it often – the long frame, as I was working on other pieces. It was like the space between two notes, or a pause in a conversation. At each glance everything would go quiet. To stand before it on my worktable was more than quiet, it was blank, the nothing, all but the questions searching in my mind to make sense of why just this one frame? Why was I not able to begin the piece for this frame when I knew the story already?

It was the last moment, the last chance I would have to create the piece the night before I took the last group to the framers. If it didn’t happen this night I would miss the opportunity to show it. So I took it in my hands and placed it on the worktable. I stood facing it damning the pressure of time like holding back a great wave while pushing the story at the frame. The silence cracked as it pushed back and truth rushed into me.

This is what it revealed. The story, I wanted to tell, was a fantastical story, full of drama and sensation. It would wow with marvel. Tell the story but know that it comes at a fork in the road. If I tell it I choose a path of impressing with my work and with this comes two things. One, it is a way of security that will supply me with a market to work, but a narrow margin of freedom from which to detour with growth and exploration.

Bracing myself for the explanation of the other path was well needed as it came simple and strong as this, trust. Simple is not effortless to some who are not practiced at planning their livelihood in the fear of the unknown. I was frightened at this possibility of removing my reason and intellect from my work and trusting in something that did not come from the source of myself, which I could process with ideas and decisions.

Searching for a little more than the one word ‘trust’ I wanted to know what direction this path would develop the story for this frame. To my apprehension I was granted the additional information, more than expected, the whole of the piece – a line. How could a line stretched from the left to the right be so terrifying when I have drawn many lines? How, when I search for paper just to draw lines?

A single line in exchange for a fantastical mirage, single line for a vintage frame that I have watched over two years waiting to buy, checking on it over a dozen times, a unique frame I might not ever find again. A single line petitioned to be chosen when all odds would brush it aside for something better. Were I to decide on this path it would be one of truth, full of searching, meditations, explorations, fears, and acknowledgements, keeping my senses open and pliable. It would not be easy and there was not guarantee of reward. I might fill warehouses of unappreciated art and it would be troubled toil to process for it is not simple to trust.

I stood holding two decisions in my mind, the easy way or the unknown way. Back and forth from every angle I did not move. I began to realize that I make this decision continually. This venture had a different set of circumstances same risks. I have always chosen truth over market no matter the question of fears and in this situation I would chose again, the truth in my art. If I struggle, I do, not to let the fantastical mundane steal in. I could see the line on the paper and it was enough.

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