Incubation and the Art Process

I have an insightful friend/artist, who asked me a very pertinent question about the poetry I write. Let me tell you that when discussing things with her, you had better be prepared for razor sharp penetration to the heart of an issue. It is one of the things I love about her. I had mentioned that I wasn’t writing much anymore, because I was so focused on quilt making. Here was her question/statement:

“Surely the contemplative nature of its incubation could be a productive part of your art process?”

That question left me speechless as it echoed in my skull chamber. I was tempted to smack myself on the forehead, but I have learned to accept that sometimes we are oblivious to the most obvious things about ourselves. It takes the probing of another~a loving, sentient being~to help us achieve certain realizations. Thank you Margi!

I put Margi’s insights together with Tammy Vitale’s November 21st offering, over at Women, Art, Life, of  a poem that touched others, as well as myself.  It is titled Dream. Ellie, responded by sharing  a poem of her own. She also said she once played piano! Leah liked the poem and when I went to her site, I was very taken with her work! It has the quality of visual poetry! Then I found this page by Tinkerings. The water lily is a favorite image of mine, and this hand is beautifully rendered.

So, I am going to crash the music playing, poetry writing, image making party with a poem (and image) of my own. But first, let me say that I played piano at one time (years of exams and festivals) but gave it up to pursue art and poetry. I simply didn’t feel I could spend the hours needed, any more, to keep my technique up to the level required to do justice to Bach, Mozart, etc.

As for this poem, I don’t know if it’s finished; it was in my head when I woke up yesterday morning, around 5 pm, and hurried to the computer to capture it. I may decide I have to change some words, or entire lines in the future, but I’m going to publish it anyway. The image is part of my Daily Design Papers practice, though I didn’t publish it on the blog.

Our hope would have it

There is something
within us,
something golden and round like a holy
yolk that seeks to break
free.    It’s not

that this structure    of
skin and bone lacks
comfort or
familiarity.  It actually seems
alive.    We pet
and groom it,  teach it
tricks,  entice it
with treats.    But inevitably
the pins that hold it all
in place let loose     the soft shell
crumbles.    What walked
and talked now proves
itself a mere

container.    That precious
orb within is still
intact     at least
our hope would have it
so     despite
its perfect    absolute
inscrutability.    Or,

because of it?

© Carol Wiebe

Perfect yoke

Perfect yolk


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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3 Responses to Incubation and the Art Process

  1. tammy vitale says:

    wow – perfect poem for that art piece! perfect!

    I, too, played piano. My Mom could play by ear. I could read music like a bandit. We each wanted what the other had – and never got it. I gave up.

  2. Melanie says:

    When asked about so-called ‘writer’s block,’ I used to tell my writing students: There’s no such thing as writer’s block, but some things do take longer to ripen than others.

    (I found my way here from wildthreadstudios, Denise Aumick’s blog.)

  3. carolwiebe says:

    I love that ripening concept, Melanie. By accepting that you have a block, and calling it a block, it seems to me that you are putting energy into blockage! It’s much more productive to assume that ripening is the operative process, and to employ the many strategies available for encouraging ideas and images in your mind.

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