I used to tell my art students about Arnold Palmer. When asked what part luck played in his great success in golf, winning so many Masters, he answered something to the effect of, "No doubt, luck has played a huge part, and I am so grateful. But it's funny, the more I practice, the luckier I get."
I think I had that on my classroom wall and syllabus for years: the more you practice, the luckier you get.
It's my turn to practice. Somehow, being here is part of it. Showing up. It is not as if this place is all sunshine and roses. But I feel lucky almost every day. To get this chance, and be with amazing people. Even though today I felt tired. Too many late nights at the studio. Maybe one day I'll go to bed early and sleep in late, instead of bed late and up early. I am building a deficit quickly, ever since I lucked into this place. But I am coming to feel the need to create my own structure because time yawns, and the days blend, and I could be anywhere––the outside world seems really distant.
Tonight, an amazing resident reading, Last night, a visitng writer's reading. The night before, a visiting artist. Two days before that, a craft talk. I am only in charge of the writing events, usually 2 a week.I don't have to go to any of the other events, but it seems crazy to miss a teacher from RISD talking about her paintings or a NY artist talking about his scultpures. How often will I get to do this? Tomorrow it is the last open studios, everyone has their doors open and we all wander space to space, maybe 40 different walks into what have become, for an evening, mini gallery spaces. Oh, and parties. Too many, because this is also sort of like art camp for adults. So how to navigate the fortune, when you don't know which twist of fate is going to pop up next?
Another thing I used to say, all the time," remember, we get to do this." It is so easy to forget that we have choices, when things get a little complicated or tough. End of the day, I actually think there should be no such thing as an art emergency, though I feel like I spent a large chunk of my adult life putting out whichever fire was largest. Such a great moment to realize we were not digging up landmines. That we could feel lucky for getting to do what we did. Cup half full.
Nothing in my business life this year will be landmines. There are little computer malfunctions, and people can be people, and there will be small annoyances. Jammed paper in the printers, emails, spreadsheets. But proportion is required. It seems like a total fluke that I drove here nearly four weeks ago, my first month-long residents are going to leave on Friday, and a whole new set will arrive on Sunday--and it will be groundhog day all over again. Except, i get to do this.
Now it is 2am, and I will press send, bundle into my rain coat, and walk home, climb into bed, and look out my window at the full moon round in the sky, Count my lucky stars. Maybe wish on one.
1. success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions; prosperity, good fortune, advantage, success
2. chance considered as a force that causes good or bad things to happen; the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's lfe, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunitie
synonyms: fortune, fate, destiny, Lady Luck, lot, the stars, karma, kismet, fortuity, serendipity;
chance, accident, a twist of fate
3. something regarded as bringing about or portending good or bad things; fortune, fluke; stroke of luck, lucky break
4. a combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person:
5. some object on which good fortune is supposed to depend:
1. chance to find or acquire.
2. achieve success or advantage by good luck.
perhaps from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch lucken. The noun use (late 15th century) is from Middle Low German lucke, of West Germanic origin and possibly related to lock1; lukken was a verb in Middle English (mid15c.) meaning "to happen, chance;" also, "happen fortunately." late 15c. from early Middle Dutch luc, shortening of gheluc "happiness, good fortune," of unknown origin. It has cognates in Dutch geluk, MiddleHigh German g(e)lücke, German Glück "fortune, good luck."