If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll recall that I am married to a special breed of man, The Motorcycle Racer. When he came home from a four day long event last week, we commenced the obligatory debrief: how he performed (very well), what the track conditions were, who the competition was, who fell down (he did), who had to take an ambulance ride to the hospital (another guy, who is fortunately, ok), you know, all the things normal people do on a weekend.
He told me how he had observed a rider ahead of him who made many small jerky adjustments, corrections, as he navigated each turn, not just once, but turn after turn, and remarked how that really slowed the guy down. I said, “Oh, he’s not looking far enough down the road.” “Exactly!”, says he, “you gotta look as far as you can see, know where the apex of the turn is, keep your eye on your target”.
Metaphor for life, hmm?
We need to look to where we want to be and not get distracted by the bumpy patch just in front of us.
Maybe that concept is why I distort so much of my figurative work with a giant eye: I’m looking large and looking long.
Sure, life is full of events and responsibilities that keep us tethered in the present moment and it’s difficult to maintain that long range focus, but I think it critical to have, as precisely as possible, a vision of the future. I’m not talking about goals, resolutions, or five year plans, but setting your eye as far down the road as you can see so you will know when you’ve reached the apex, and understand that now you have to shift your weight and move yourself on a new trajectory.
I have this sort of conversation with many people I have connected with through art making. The ones who feel stuck are those who take course after course, work with teacher after teacher, and are making tiny adjustments one after another. Those who have their eye on the prize, whatever that is for them, are the ones who feel successful, fulfilled and ultimately, happy.
Like the guy who was navigating turns mainly by course correction, I spent many of my early adult years trying not to fall down while recovering from poor directional choices. And, oh, did I fall down a few times, but I always had a clear vision of what I wanted my life to be no matter how far from it my reality was. I credit the far-vision for where I am today in this life and I do have my eye on the next part of the course. I hope it’s more straight than corkscrew, but I’ll look as far down the road as I can see at any given moment.
Studio Sketchbook is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Just lovely! Beautifully written and a message I certainly need to ponder!