Bumps of happiness
So, for weeks, I’ve had in my head this quote from my friend, Elise Erikson Barrett: “Even in the midst of uncertainty and fear, it can be the right decision to engage in hopeful acts.” (The guy above is definitely engaging in a hopeful, if likely illegal, act.) In September, it seems like there’s so much hope to choose from: journal reading periods open, fellowships become due, workshops and classes start – all these opportunities to be the best and most interesting at explaining yourself! I’ve had to remind myself lately that nothing will fall from the sky and hurt me if I pass something up, and yet….
Last summer, I took a class called “Success, Happiness, and Collaboration in Creative Practice” with Lindsay Nohl at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was only a four-week class, but I have a whole notebook of ideas and process stuff that I return to almost every week. One idea I really liked was the concept of building in little “bumps” or “highs” to your life – things to hope for, happinesses yet to come. Something as anxiety-provoking as applying for a big grant or as small as having a reason to wake up and head straight for your notebook or studio.
I did get some fun news this week: I found out that an essay I wrote for Water~Stone Review last year and an essay Judith Kitchen wrote for the same issue were named as notables in the Best American Essays 2014. I’ve been wanting to write more about science – women in astronomy, electrical circuits – and having this happen (the notable essay is about hemoglobin and carbon monoxide) was a nice little “keep going” push.