Yesterday between coming in from errands and starting supper, I pulled out my phone to check email or Twitter. I clicked on a video of a favorite artist of mine doing an acoustic performance. My two boys were playing in the sun room, and the door was open to keep an eye on them. My oldest, who is five, said that he wished that we could play catch. I asked why we couldn’t. He told me that he didn’t want to interrupt me. I told him that nothing was more important than him and that he could always come to me.
The truth is that it is not the words that he could “interrupt” me that mattered: it is the habit. I was not looking for a pressing email from work. I was not doing much of anything except the passing the time. Our habits not only form our daily lives; they also form the image that we portray to the world. It relates to how our loved ones see us, how our co-workers see us, and how our muses see us.
I am strong believer in muses, not the actual Greek type that floated around granting creative wishes. I believe in the genius in all of us, but they often will not bother us if we seem busy filling the time. I have seen the quote that the muse needs to find you at work to come visit you. I wholeheartedly believe that we need just begin tasks for inspiration to often kick in, but our work is not always directly on a project. Blaine Hogan says it this way, “An artist’s job is to see well and to do that you must have slow and steady eyes to see.” Seeds of the things that we do are often found in observation or “to see well.”
I need to be still and present to do my work each day. I don’t mean to denigrate the pleasures of down time filled games or social media. I just want for me to recognize the posture and message that I send when I, not the world, busies myself. I need to remind myself that almost everything can be beneficial and restorative if I approach it in that manner and to remind myself of my posture to the world, so that it remains open to interruptions.