Process

A few words about process, whether in art, business, or getting a glass of water.

Let’s say you tell someone “I’m going to get a drink of water.”

If the person asks you how, how would you explain?

Do you say something about how you’re going to reach out with your hand, and pick up a glass, fill it with water and then drink the water?

Do you describe the various physical functions involved in the muscles of your arm, your shoulder, the tendons in your fingers, the synapses in your brain telling your skin about the temperature of the glass? How knees work? How to operate the faucet? The physics related to the water moving from the glass into your mouth as you tilt it? Fluid dynamics? Gravity? Astronomy? The water cycle? How the municipal water system or well that you’re drawing from works? Where the water comes from; a water tower, nearby lakes, a rain barrel, an aquifer, clouds, gathered by pixies from the petals of only the most beautiful flowers at dawn? How rain happens? Would you explain the process of choosing a glass instead of a mug, a bowl, a champagne flute, your cupped hands, a crystal vase? Do you explain how you got the glass? Where glass comes from? How the glass was made? Do you talk about how glass is really another state of matter, neither a true solid not a liquid? Do you spend much mental effort to keep from going on side tangents about how you learned from your mother that glass was discovered by Phoenicians camping on sand next to the ocean, and what a lovely pattern it is that something discovered next to water so often contains water?

When everything is connected with no beginning and no end, how do you explain a thing?

And how do you explain it without explaining it in frustrating length, in ways that are dynamically connected to the specific situation, the people involved, their needs and desires, what’s happened immediately before or is likely to happen afterward.

The struggle is real.

As I understand if from folks who’ve been, one of the most valuable things about art school is learning how to talk about it.

I’ve never been to art school. So understand that I might have a hard time explaining to you how I’m going to get a drink of water.

If we’re both lucky, I’ll just be able to show you.