21 May

Worshipping At The Alter Of Creativity

by Jon Katz

I am surprised at the ease with which Maria has slipped into her Residence, the creative process is so much a part of her, still, it is fascinating and wonderful to see it played out this way.

Once or twice this week, she sat down with me and let me contribute some tools to this new chapter – some special watercolor pencils, some kind of layering glue.

Not one in ten years has she asked me to buy any tools for her or allowed me too. She had to prove to herself that she can make her own way, and I think she is finally accepting that.

Otherwise, she doesn’t talk much to me about her work, it is boiling and bubbling inside of her, I am surprised every night when I look at her blog.

She is talking to her friends, walking with them, Zooming with them, yakking with them. She is also taking inspiration and encouragement from them.

And giving it back. You can follow all of this on her blog.

Maria is calm and yet excited, trying new things with new materials, just what she hoped would happen. Sometimes, she’s just floating up on Mars, she and her faithful companion Fate rushing in and out of the house to find things or get things.

We wave to one another, I love watching this process, but I am not in it and should not be in it. But it is wonderful to watch.

And she is selling lots of potholders, wall hangings, postcards, magnets, and posters.

She is discovering that she is needed, not just vulnerable, strong, not just anxious, creative, not just ordinary in any way. When she relaxes, her creativity bubbles up in her like a hot spring.

She is quietly and peacefully obsessed. How great.

She is grasping the concept of stepping back from the pressure and let the creativity show itself. She doesn’t just hop out of bed and dawn, frantic to get to work and justify her being an artist, proving she can make it on her own.

She thinks, snoozes, talks, mulls.

This is the thing about creativity. If you let it alone, it will flourish and open up for you. If you watch it and work it and worry about it too much, it will clam up like a shy child.

When I walked into Maria’s studio this evening, it looked as if she was praying at an altar, and I guess in a way she was. She was so happy, so peaceful.

For the first time, she is doing collage, and it is beautiful and natural and makes her happy and feel fulfilled. For the first time, she is working just for her.

This is her time, and in a curious way, this is my time too. I just can’t get over how much crisis and mystery and joy there is in life if you permit it to happen.

We are not just born once when our mothers give birth to us, life requires us to give birth to ourselves again and again. This is a rebirth for Maria.

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