Friday, July 29, 2011

What is Important?

I have been reading and reflecting on Jane Dunnewold's post of her talk, "What Matters", given at the recent SDA conference in Minneapolis.  I found the richly packed article very thought provoking...relevant on many levels, not just as an artist, but as a human being.  Within it were thoughts I have ruminated on... as have others, I am sure.  I welcomed the reminder to personally assess what is important, pursue it and share it.  In this time of so many distractions that needs constant reassessing, don't you think?

Quotes from Jane that struck me in particular.  About community-
"If we see the good in cultivating community, sharing our gifts, being with people who love what we love, then there are qualities we can foster that will make the experience richer:
These properties create a fertile environment where certain capacities can grow -
Generosity, which is making an offer for its own sake, not for its exchange value
Cooperation - For me to win, you must win.
Statesmanship - setting aside person preferences for the group good.
Forgiveness, which signals a new beginning, and choosing to stay in present time.
An acceptance of imperfection - recognizing that our gifts are intertwined with our limitations and being willing to deal with it, without passing judgment.
Mystery - which creates space for what is unknowable in life, and honors it."

Life happens-
"You can be intentional about your choices, you can be thoughtful. This is all good. However, the most basic lesson is recognizing that after having become intentional, you will allow life to unfold as it is going to unfold, and there is nothing your intentions can do to change that reality."

And finally-
"So what matters comes down to these questions:
Will you choose intentional creation?
Will you choose to share your gifts with the community?
Will you cherish yourself as artist and original being? "

Creative life, and life in general, is about a balance of energy.  How we each find that in this complex world is personal. When is the time for sharing, or the time for solitude?  Questions like these constantly arise that require us to be open and present, to begin to know ourselves and develop some clarity.  It is a learning process.  It is a journey I have chosen to take. 

Thanks to Jane for her thoughtful presentation, and to my SAQA friend, Margaret Blank , for bringing my attention to this post in the first place.  I highly recommend reading it.  Print it out, take your time, reflect for yourself.


  1. Thanks for sharing my sharing, Linda. Readers of my blog will note that another shared it with me first...and so goes the community!


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