Monday, December 29, 2008

Thinking about 2009

"Fear of Flying"
December 2008
Digital collage: Photoshop 5.5, my photos, mouse painting, manipulated found images

I've been thinking a lot about 2009. It's an important year for me in so many ways. More than anything, artistically I want to risk failure. This recent collage is my meditation on that sensation.

Why would I say I want to risk failure? Why wouldn't I avow to succeed instead? Because as long as I'm focused on succeeding, I'm holding back. If I'm concerned with outwardly succeeding, then I'm not focused enough on what it is I'm trying to do. It's not that I don't want to succeed, it's that I don't want to succeed if that means not risking doing something new, daring, or touching a nerve.

Mark Twain once asked, "Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is."

I'll be 50 years old this coming summer. It's not important unless I want it to be. And I want it to be. I'm hoping that "being in my fifties" will be time for fruit-picking. I want being fifty to mean that I'm no longer afraid of other's opinions. And to be smart enough to know who's to value. I want being fifty to mean taking advantage of the abundance of time I have now that my family is raised. And to know that time is limited. I want being fifty to mean that I'm okay with my imperfections, mistakes, and short-comings. And to look for personal peace and tranquility in myself anyway. I want being fifty to mean that my worst fear isn't to die, but to die without finding out what it seems like I was here all along to find out.

It's a tall order. And maybe being fifty doesn't mean that to you. But it's my turn to be officially old. And you know us old farts; you just never know what we'll do or say next.


jomamma said...

Nice... Loved you comment about your 'hopes' for turning 50... very insightful. I didn't have any 'hopes' when I turned 50... I was in a bit of disbelief. But I have found all those things that you hope for. What I'm trying to get at is those things are there just waiting for you. It's the most laid-back I've ever been. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Frances said...

nice one and I think the theme of risking failure is a really powerful one for us oldies. I think we have even more problems than younger people because we have often finally achieved success and experience in work and other skills areas, failing and learning are more difficult nowadays.
Anyhow you are a young spring chicken compared to me and I handle failure okay... I have to - LOL

Bobbie said...

Jump in Debi! You are entering the most interesting time of your life.

Kris Cahill said...

I loved turning 50. 50 is not old! Now you will be able to successfully celebrate your First Half Century of Progress! There is no failure in that. You have wildly succeeded, and it's great to look at what you'd like the next Half Century to include. And perhaps the one after that!

I am in agreement with you about a lot here. Now IS the time to let go of others' judgments. What freedom in that. The freedom to fail is a genius idea, especially in a land where only success gets validated, unless you are the CEO of a major company going bankrupt, but that is another story.

I've found myself becoming more conscious of letting go of the need to be in control. I'm releasing tension from my body as a result. It feels good, like Jomamma says here, one can actually become laid back.

I can tell I plan to turn into one of those old ladies you don't mess with. But that's not for a very long time, the old lady part that is.

The thing I'm not so amused by yet is the cards AARP keeps sending me. :))

The Artful Eye said...

Oh, you're going to love your 50's.

I couldn't wait to celebrate. I was so ready to embark on my next 50 years.

I must admit some things are not quite the same as they were in my 30s or 40s, like my memory and the creaking bones here and there but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

This is the time for new discovery.

I believe this is the first digital manipulation I've seen of yours.

It's a wonderful composition for this occasion. Fear, no doubt the guy at the top has the net and neither can see where there headed.

I love risk. I've been a risk taker all my life and it has rewarded me with many great opportunities.

As Kris, mentioned there is that harrassment by AARP but hey- maybe there are some good deals to be had. I'm not proud.

jomamma said...

I signed up for AARP, I thought cool, discounts, freebies, etc. The only thing I've gotten so far is more junk mail and offers to "sign here and for just $9.95 we'll enroll you..." I've been a member for a year now and I haven't even gotten my actual card, I'm still using a temporary. Does anyone actually know someone who reaps the benefits of being a member of AARP?

nelda said...

Debi, you continue to amaze me with the depth of your pictures and your writing.

Jomamma, you can use your AARP card for discounts at some motels/hotels. That, plus all the mail is all I know of.