I started making this collage on a weekend afternoon while my husband was reading aloud Carlos Casteneda’s Journey to Ixtlan. I guess I was thinking about the magic of the everyday when I was piecing this one together.
One of the many things Don Juan talks about in Journey to Ixtlan is the necessity of action. He says “more doing, less thinking.” My analytical mind can sometimes get carried away when I’m making art. My friend calls it “analysis paralysis.” In thinking less and doing more I hope to trust that what I know about art is sufficient. Doing without thinking feels kind of like flying or walking blind. It’s fun, exhilarating and risky.
Speaking of risky, I’m reminded of one of the scenes in Journey to Ixtlan where Don Juan has taken his apprentice Carlos Casteneda into the desert. They walk all day and into the night. Casteneda describes the night as so dark that he cannot see his hand in front of his face. Don Juan tells Carlos to run barefoot in the night following the sound of Don Juan running ahead of him. Carlos is really frightened by this concept. There are all sorts of dangers in the desert at night for a person with no shoes. But Don Juan encourages him to see with his spirit since his eyes were of no use in the dark night. Don Juan calls running in the desert at night the “gait of power.”
Making art can feel like running through the dark in the desert. There is no clear path towards success. For me it’s a sideways spiritual muscle that involves instinct, trust, faith, and stubborn hard work. Have you experienced something like the “gait of power?”