Friday, February 09, 2007

The Importance of Anticipation.

Now it's just 24 hours until my show. I knew six months ago that it was coming, but I didn't think about it much up to a couple of weeks ago. It's strange how time seems to have gone quickly in retrospect. Even day-to-day, it can sometimes feel like time is crawling. Yet things that happened less than a year ago seem so far distant. The truth is that time is not nearly as immutable as we so often believe it is. I've always had a theory that our perception of time accelerates as we age. When we are new-born, every stimulus is novel... and we can lose ourselves in the experience. As we build associations with things that become familiar, we tend not to dwell on them... and we take them for granted. This process seems to make time fly by. Of course when we are old, there is less and less new phenomena. I imagine that my last few years will progress like the blink of an eye.

Anyway... I like having something to look forward to. Having that makes it easier to get through the mundane chores of life's maintenance that tend to be soul-sapping. I may be wending my way through some gruelingly boring task, but if I can project myself into some image of future pleasure... then I know I'll get through without difficulty. Having summers off gives me an easy and regular destination to travel toward. These few months of winter can take on the characteristics of an Arctic marathon. If I am not anticipating some event, it's easy to get mired in cabin fever and ennui. Every Thursday I comb the local listings to find out what there is to do over the weekend. Every week I know that I'll be drawing on Thursday night. Every other week I know I'll be drawing on Tuesday night. Every First Friday I know I'll be on Penn Avenue, checking out the new openings. And so the years pass.

No doubt all of this is why weekends take on such a momentous importance in our society. These are the sanctioned periods of leisure and relaxation. Watch the weekly procession of revelers, as they head to their favorite "watering holes" for Happy Hour. It's expected. And though I am suspicious of the sheer fun of that tantalizing proposition... I certainly understand the impulse. On the rare occasion when I go out to witness it, I sometimes get depressed at the desperate grasp for deferred enjoyment so obvious on the drunken faces of the participants. It's so obviously "time to let loose". I find myself railing against the whole idea of "work hard, play hard". It seems so empty... so reflexive... as if it's simply an extension of a robotic existence. perhaps I feel this way because this type of behavior is dictated by society. I get the same impression when I hear of people arranging their plans around a weekly TV show, or the big weekend football game. But who am I to judge others when I have my own pleasures scheduled? To each according to their own wants and abilities... right?

Anyway, I knew it was going to be tough getting through another Pittsburgh February. And while my initial impression, upon hearing that my solo had been scheduled for the harshest of months, was a lukewarm acceptance... I've come to appreciate the benefits of the timing. In all the frenzy of putting together the show, I lost track of the passage of time. Now here we are, almost halfway through the month... and I've got the culmination of my efforts directly in front of me. It's gratifying... and even more so to know that my work will hang until April 7th, when the thrill of a new spring will make everything seem brand new once again.


Anonymous jefg said...

Best wishes for your opening. Sorry I won't be there this time around (not for the opening anyway), but I anticipate that this will not be your last one.

I agree with the importance of having something to look forward to. That's not to say you shouldn't live and enjoy each moment you're in, just that having some part of an enjoyable future in the back of your mind can make things better on a boring today, when it's to cold to walk any distance. For me, it's always having one or more trips in the planning stages.

See you, and the show, next month.

9:36 AM  

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