This is a continuation of this ongoing discussion about organizing … thank you for your responses letting me know this is interesting to you!!Â A bit ago Butterfly wrote a very thoughtful response to my post. Part of what Butterfly wrote is “It seems to me that you spend a tremendous amount of time organizing your own and other people’s work that only indirectly have to do with the actual art of creation.Â It seems that you hardly ever have time to sit down for hours on end to craft your art, or am I getting completely the wrong impression now?”
Tilting, Digital Â© Diane Clancy
Yesterday was quite a busy day – the people downstairs’ lock broke – again – so a chunk of the day was spent on that.Â I have to deal with plenty around this house … it is close to 100 years young and is lovely!! and also old. This is one issue that weaves through my life – and for some times of things I need to deal with them quickly – for sure!
I have done community organizing for over 40 years … lots of volunteer work – in many different areas.Â Given my health, it was one way I could contribute to the community – yet still take care of my health.Â It gave me a sense of purpose much larger than myself and my own issues and concerns.Â I feel really good about all the work I done over the years – in peace, environmental, health, and social and economic justice issues.Â Yes – I have been a little busy – and much of the work I was even able to do from bed! (I am sure I could write a book with tales of my life and organizing.) (My treatment went well today.)
A couple of years ago I decided that I needed to switch my organizing focus to art organizing.Â It seemed important to back up my art career with mainly focusing on the creative arts.Â “They,” “The Experts,” all say that the most important thing to build your art career (maybe even more than good art) is networking, building relationships and marketing. So, I deligently started about two years ago.Â I dove in.Â I refused to take on more responsibility in other areas (that lasted a whole year I think).Â I got active in art locally and online.
Actually I got pulled back in to both environmental organizing and local politics organizing. If we don’t have a functional earth, we have nothing to stand on.Â And if we don’t have decent local government (and national – yippee!!), then the arts and the economy are not well supported.Â The quality of life degrades when there is divisive and power-hungry leadership. But I am once again switching my focus some away from this. There are such important crucial issues in both areas, that I cannot turn my back on them … but I have seriously started putting my needs at the forefront.
Being so sick for so long, it was hard to not put the big picture ahead of me – given my personality.Â But I have come to a new place inside myself, and I am pulling inward in a healthy way.Â There were years I was so sick I could barely get out of bed, so when I have energy, I want to do things that I feel will help the world and make me feel empowered and effective.
So I am working myself out of some of the things I have been doing.Â I have not been the head honcho or anything with these things the last few years – just a good team player.Â (I was a leader a lot for years.) But I am letting people know that I am giving myself a chance to succeed with my art career.Â People are *mostly* supportive. And I am doing it.
I am going to stop here … and tomorrow talk about the grant and press release. I am wanting you to understand the texture of my life and my thought processes in doing what I am doing.Â It was very exciting to get the grant!Â It was the first time in my life I have been paid for organizing – I am thrilled.Â That is why I am going to start again tomorrow … so it is a readable length.
Thanks for coming by!
~ Diane Clancy
Technorati Tags: Butterfly, organizing, community organizing, sense of purpose, creative arts, locally, online
You’re a pretty amazing woman. The more I find out about you, the more I think so. You sure don’t let yourself get beat down by life. You’re right in making your choices. The arts must be supported and represented by people who are knowledgeable and who care a lot. They are a crucial element of our lives. Can you imagine having to do without? How barren the world would be.
Just wanted you to know that I am enjoying your blog and your posts about organizing one’s time and giving back to your community. And I know that it is so difficult and also so necessary to say “NO” sometimes.