Photos By Subtext Projects
“[Artist Candy Chang] transformed a wall of [Dallas based East/West] Galleries into a giant chalkboard stenciled with the phrase, “Before I die I want to _____.” People can use chalk to write on the wall and remember what is important to them. This project is also about sharing and discovering the hopes and aspirations of the people around you. In addition to the gallery show, Before I Die is being installed on neglected buildings in New Orleans in hopes of improving both our physical environment and our individual well-being while understanding our neighbors in a different and enlightening way.”
I came across the above fascinating art installation today. And I love that it’s being installed on neglected buildings in New Orleans. I kinda wish I had one on my wall, for myself, for my friends and family… it’s such an intensely connecting concept. I kind of think it’s appropriate that the proclamations are made in chalk as well. I like knowing it’s okay to change my mind about what’s important, but I don’t have to. I wonder if I could fill up an entire wall myself?
Here’s a few things I think I’d scratch out:
- Before I die I want to touch someone’s heart and mind with my writing.
- Before I die I want to watch my nephews and niece grow up.
- Before I die I want to visit India.
- Before I die I want to take care of those that have taken care of me.
- Before I die I want to read thousands and thousands more books.
- Before I die I want to eat pancakes at the White House.
Yah, OK, so that last one might be a stretch. (Unless the Obama’s are actively looking for brunch guests, in which case, do put me down) It still sounds like fun! The truth is there are probably thousands of things I could put on my wall. Big and small, simple and outlandish. I’ve never been short on dreams. The real question for me is not, WHAT do I want to do before I die, but HOW do I make those things happen. I’m afraid that wall might look a bit more messy. My plans are never step by step, this leads to that. Life intervenes, and we skip ahead and fall backwards and jump to another wall altogether, all the while scribbling notes in the margins and wondering if this is really what we want after all. For me, the messiness of the process is part of the joy of life.
But now I’m curious…what would be on your wall?
"Headache" via Wikipedia
“Every time someone breaks a resolution, an angel does a faceplant.” – Unknown
Did you even notice? The day I was stressing about missing in there? Yep. Up until two days ago I had a perfect streak going on with my Post A Day 2011 challenge. I usually don’t get to posting until late at night so there are a few days where I posted a few minutes after midnight and they show up on the next day, but as far as I’m concerned they still count as successes for me.
But man…Sunday I had a migraine to beat all migraines (headaches seem to be making themselves comfy as a theme in my life right now), and even though I already knew what I was going to write about for the day, I just couldn’t get myself to stare at the computer screen for long enough to do it.
So, you know what I did? I got up the next day and wrote the post. Kept going. I didn’t call the thing a disaster and give up in frustration. It’s sometimes hard with goals to find that balance between perfect responsibility, nazi like structure and accountability and forgiving ourselves… and then maybe forgiving ourselves once too often, and then deciding to tell ourselves that we really don’t care at all.
So I just wanted to acknowledge the point, that yes…I’m human (and I plan on staying that way). I expect that I will miss another day or two during the year. But having experienced it, and knowing that I will keep going makes the whole thing a little less scary. Because life is often one big balancing act and what works for me won’t work for you, and sometimes what works for me today, isn’t what worked for me yesterday. The point is progress. The point is, I’m doing this for a reason well a few, actually – and none of them include the word perfection.
Pick your battles. Don’t make your goals more important than enjoying life. Ok, yes it was pain that drove me away this time. But I’d like to think I’d let myself off for an occasional night if the choice was between blogging and ice-cream with my niece or a date with prince charming. Otherwise, just who the hell am I working so hard at perfection for?
So, WordPress is hosting this insane challenge over at the The Daily Post. And because I revel in providing myself creative punishment, I’m taking it. Which means, I’ll be (attempting) to post every day in 2011!
Easy, no. But it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. It could also just be annoying, boring and exhausting. You can decide, but that’s what experiments are all about, right?
If you already read my blog, don’t run away. I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way. (Chocolate, books and cash incentives are also accepted). If you don’t read my blog, now is the perfect time to start because I’m bound to pull a few ridiculous pranks to meet my blogging goal for the year.
Happy Almost 2011 Everyone!
Want to play along: Check out: The Daily Post at WordPress.com | Post something every day.