Sunday, July 29, 2012

Waiting is the hardest part

Climbing "The Ampitheater"

 I’m a planner by nature, so when I see a new challenge, I instinctively begin scheduling the steps between initiation and completion. This worked well in my business career but is mostly irrelevant in the world of art. Having said that, by this time – midway through the challenge timeframe – I typically have an idea of my direction and often several design alternatives.

No such luck this time!

I admit to being stumped. Not enough ideas? Too many? Usually when I struggle, I try to shake up my routine and do something outside my normal bounds. This time, it happened serendipitously.
I was out in Colorado when a friend offered to take me mountain climbing. Having never been, and having a slight fear of heights, I hesitated. But I trusted my friend implicitly and knew he was a very experienced climber. How many times do you get an offer like that? So I said yes.

I made it!

And lo and behold, climbing opened my eyes to the strength, subtlety and omnipresence of lines.  During my climb I encountered these:

 1. Safety line
 2. Line of sight
 3. Line of ascent
 4. Line of rock (crack, fissure)

Each served a different purpose: boundary, perspective, path, tool. Each had different characteristics: stable, changing, planned, historical. I marveled at the variety of meaning and interpretation.

I still don’t know exactly where this will lead me in my next quilt, but I did learn an important lesson: when I struggle to conceive, I get nowhere. When I relax and notice what’s around me, inspiration abounds. 

It’s the waiting, that’s the hardest part.


  1. Dear Martha,

    You are so brave! You reached the special position and adjusted your horizon for the topic; I envied what you have done. I hope the new project will bring you a brand new achievement.
    Best Regards,

    1. Thank you Lin Hsin-Chen. I look forward to extending my boundaries even further through the challenge you have given us.

  2. ROCK CLIMBING??? REALLY??? You ARE brave. I am in awe, L-M and I can't wait to see what inspiration comes from your adventure. Who was the sane one on the ground taking the pictures?

    1. Oh Andrea, it was SO much fun! My friend David (the rock climber who instructed me) took the pictures. Of course I had to record it on film, I could barely believe it myself!

  3. That is a real challenge! But I agree with not pushing too hard for an artistic idea or solution. I have learnt to relax and wait.