conventions : mark, continued (time)

It’s settled- the zeroes will have no maker’s mark or metal purity hallmark. Every time I visualized them with those marks, they weren’t zeroes anymore. The landscape was obscured, the horizon clipped. The sole exception is the one electrum coin I struck, which will be the only one I keep as mine.

I only reached that conclusion when the anxiety over what to do, how to finish played out and I dropped the mental attempts to achieve everything in this one small beginning series of strikes. In the process, a major obstacle to finishing things became apparent.

Because it takes a fair deal of work, of effort, to make anything at all worthwhile, the lazy/efficiency-obsessed (take your pick, they tend to resemble each other at times) part of me figures that if I have to exert myself, I may as well try to accomplish a whole lot of things in that effort. After all, I have no trouble doing just that in my head. That part of me also gets anxious that in focusing on finishing this one particular thing, I may be missing out on bringing to material form every other possible iteration of the series (It’s right, I am. But only for the time I spend finishing that one thing.) I somehow manage to try to fold multiple layers of time into the thing while simultaneously disbelieving in the future.

The solution is to allow these things, the different iterations to spread out in space, to not be stingy that way. And to realize that the unfolding requires more time than the time to think about it. Complete the one thing as the one thing. Respect it. Keep its boundaries clean and clear. A fence, a magic circle, a cell wall. Allow myself to fully inhabit the time it takes, eschewing all other “times” until consummation in the material of that one thing is accomplished. Allow myself to believe that the infinite horizon of possibilities will continue to be there beyond this temporarily self-imposed limitation of vision and action. There will be a “next project”. With luck and long life, hopefully many.

But while I’m in it, be IAO Absolute: confident, all-powerful, limited, flawed, fabricating a truthful lie in a world of my making, a world that I must believe with every fiber of my being is IT.  The time for the graceful bursting of that illusion (and blessed release!) is later. For now, this is IT.

Only by holding to this can I hear what the piece and I are telling each other about what it should be rather than allowing the swarming embryos of future possibilities invade and potentially upset the integrity of what’s going on. Of course it’s a fine line- flashes of inspiration happen and should be listened to, but discerning between an inspiration relevant to the piece at hand, and inspirations more suitable to a later variation on the current theme can be difficult. Is it a voice from within the circle, or without? Is the voice entering, or shouting outward? Does it lead to further fixation of the work at hand or volatility? They are flashes and vapors. It can be hard to know. To know the answers to those questions, it’s necessary to understand what the piece is, to have a handle on its essence…which you only get by keeping to it and it alone while working on it…and not thinking much about it, just doing it…

I heard an analogy recently that applies to the back-and-forth of sensing/thinking/doing: sense and register what’s actually there first before making up your mind about it. Let the horses pull the chariot. Don’t harness your mind to the front and try to pull the horses. The mind should handle the reins, and lightly at that.

Some thoughts can be persistent and invasive. Asana, pranayama, meditation are good tried and true remedies for that (take your own oft-given advice, B). So I put the horses back in front of the cart and see anew WHAT’S RELEVANT to THIS thing and voila, the answer to the question of the mark comes easy. Stop trying to do everything at once. I may be a multidimensional being, but not in that way, in this place.