Wandering in a field with nothing in mind but to wander. I am grateful for the moments in my life that are directed toward a goal or a project but I don’t want to forget about the importance of getting lost in that specific way that helps me find.
Some of the best findings are the things found when not looking. It’s when I’m off my guard that I am most surprised by these smallest things. Daydreaming. Free association. Letting my mind wander is not wasting time. “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. It is not dying.”
Every once in a while, I will have a flash of a memory. Perhaps there is something that is below the radar of my awareness that triggers it. I will have a recollection of looking at the ground as a child. Seeing the way grass clumps grow like tiny forests. How ants make their way to and from their mound - carrying some burden that you’d think would crush them. Or sitting in a treehouse that my brother and I built, hearing my mother calling from far away and not answering because I didn’t want to spoil the moment.
I can become as much aware of those nonspecific past times as I am aware of the present moments when I am wandering.
I try to invoke that attitude of wandering when I am painting. It helps me discover not just new areas but a deeper appreciation for what I already know. We live in a time where we need to find our way in this mist.
Don’t get me wrong, some who wander are really lost.