I place these quotes from Lewis Hyde’s book, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, here so that I do not lose them. I feel as though the author is speaking directly to me of my practice, informing it and giving it meaning. They reflect, in better words that I could ever write, the quiet experience of time spent alone in the studio when I feel most myself and yet outside my self as something else I do not have a name for moves through me and guides me.
“…when we refuse what has been offered to the empty heart, when possible futures are given and not acted upon, then the imagination recedes. And without the imagination we can do no more than spin the future out of the logic of the present; we will never be led into new life because we can work only from the known.” (p. 252, second Vintage Books edition, 2007)
“Every artist secretly hopes his art will make him attractive. Sometimes he or she imagines it is a lover, a child, a mentor, who will be drawn to the work. But alone in the workshop it is the soul itself the artist labors to delight. The labor of gratitude is the initial food we offer the soul in return for its gifts, and if it accepts our sacrifice we may be…drawn into a gifted state – out of time, coherent, ‘in place.'” (p. 249, second Vintage Books edition, 2007)