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Internal versus External

Advent Day Five, 2014, Melanie Mowinski

When I was in college, I remember a conversation with a fellow art student about living in one place for the rest of his life versus moving often and looking for new horizons. We were sitting in front of the Fredrick Erwin Church that the Cleveland Museum of Art owns. I remember thinking he was CRAZY. For so many reasons, from boredom to lack of imagination. But he was adamant. That there was much to discover by staying in one place. In relation to this, Mrs. Flax in Mermaids comes to mind, “Death is dwelling on the past or staying in one place too long.” 

As I have gotten older, understanding what he was describing resonates with me more and more. Watching how the same place changes subtly and profoundly over the course of many years now fascinates me.

I’m thinking of this right now because my winter break is approaching. We often travel during this time because it’s the only time that I can really disconnect from school and PRESS. And it allows me to feel like I’m not “staying in one place too long.” I’m good at that–going to new places. I’m only becoming better at staying in one place slowly. 

Advent Day Five, 2014, Melanie Mowinski

Advent Day Five, 2014, Melanie Mowinski


But this year we are going to stay home, and address the internal. Doug will do a cleanse, I will work in my studio. We will practice lots of yoga, meditate, go to Spartan, sleep, walk, I will hopefully run a lot, and enjoy the wonderfulness that is here in the Berkshires. And I will work in my studio. I’m much better at exploring new horizons and distracting myself from the work that needs to be done in there. I don’t know why. Whenever I do dig in, it’s always for the better. But lately, well, hmm.

What keeps you from doing the thing that you love? How do you overcome it?


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