This afternoon, I was thinking about art—creating visual art. The train of thought rolled along something like this:
"Do artists get as many rejections as poets?"
"What if I sent art to journals instead of poems?"
"Wait, I don't do art anymore." (I did art some in high school. My grandmother thought that I was going to become an artist—but modern dance then derailed that idea.)
"But could art be my medium? Could I change?"
And I realized that words are my medium. For good or bad, better or worse, words are where I live. Changing to another medium would be like taking up pole vaulting. Or modern dance—and I tried that already.
And I also realized that I could still do art, visual art, as a means of expanding my way of seeing, expanding my voice, pushing (or leading) my understanding into new places. It probably wouldn't be "good" or sent anywhere, but it could be valuable to me.
Then again, that's time I wouldn't spend writing or trying to write or sitting on the sofa thinking about writing or wishing I were writing. Is it a good trade?
(Part of me says that doing is always better than thinking about doing—which is not the same thing as thinking about consequences, which is certainly important and, well, that conversation could go on for a long time.)
Will I dig the charcoal and pastels out from their shelf in the basement? Will I draw sketches that I can cut into blocks for printing? Will I explore papers and ways to present my poems differently—more three-dimensionally? Will I have the time or energy to do any of this (as opposed to thinking about doing it)?
I don't know.
How about you? Do you ever consider chucking it all and taking up an entirely new medium? Do you ever use a different medium to explore more of your creative territory?