The creative seasons
Issue No. 1 of “The Artist’s Almanac,” a new zine
First off, thanks for such a lovely Q&A last week. You gave me so much to think about, and good ideas for upcoming issues of this here newsletter.
So, today is another zine! (Scroll down for the PDF to print and fold.) It’s a bit of an experiment: last year I got really interested in how reading almanacs can help rewire us to think in cyclical time. I got a discarded copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac at the library and I thought, “I want something like this, but for artists.”
This is my half-serious attempt at starting. For this first installment, I wanted to write about creative seasons — consider this a continuation of the ideas in chapter 10 of my book, Keep Going.
The trouble with the end-of-year holiday celebrations is it makes it feel like winter should be over, when, in fact, it’s just beginning. It is, once again, Winter in America, in more ways than one.
Last year, I wrote “I’m not languishing, I’m dormant.” My point was borrowed from the Oxford English Dictionary: “Plants may appear to be languishing simply because they are dormant.”
But, if I’m honest, this week I feel like I’m languishing — things are changing too fast under the wrong conditions, and I’ve had to go back to dormancy and wintering again, at least temporarily.
Especially in January, which feels, every year, like it’s 10x longer than it is. “Is not January the hardest month to get through?” Thoreau wrote in his journal in 1854. “When you have weathered that, you get into the gulf stream of winter, nearer the shore of spring.”