On my way to the hair salon, I walk by a large bank with four artfully arranged display windows. While banking and art make rather strange companions, I always look forward to the seasonal change in the display. I never try to make the connection between the two, the banking and the art, instead I simply enjoy the aesthetics. They are a little bit of beautiful in an otherwise logical and mathematical environment.
I had a hair appointment today, so I hopped off the tram eager to see what the new display would be for spring. Each window was arranged with dressmaker’s forms clothed in perfectly tailored architectural drafts. One wore a sport coat, another a parka and honeycomb scarf, with the loveliest paper-like fringe. One was dressed in everyday wear, and the pièce de résistance, a feminine form in a wedding dress with a full bustle and cluster of gathered paper at the shoulder. They were amazing and creative and probably made from something other than paper, but I loved each one.
As I passed by, those images stayed with me. Lines and graphs and numbers laid out in such a way as to create a plan, something that needed to be followed exactly in order to produce the desired outcome. Then that plan was bent, pulled, bunched and cut into the shape of something recognizable but infinitely more interesting than, say, four walls and a roof. No doubt, it was the dress that got me.
I’m learning to live this way; to walk around with a blueprint, a rough draft, some numbers and figures and ideas on a page. But, to allow for them to be manipulated into something more than I think they can be. I can’t live by a two year or a five year plan. Oh, I mentally draft them, but they are flat and tidy pieces of paper with some funny looking lines scratched into them. They don’t have the sweep and drape of a wedding dress. Or a honeycomb scarf with delicate fringe. And that right there is where I find freedom. There is a blue-print, a first, second and maybe even third draft. But, it’s up to me to take what exists and fashion it into a wearable work of art, complete with gathers, folds and a cluster of something lovely on my right shoulder.
Do you find yourself stuck in drafting mode? Get out there and fashion a dress made out of your best laid plans. Take it in, let it out, simplify, ornament, create something astonishing with your life.