Discovery of Choice continued

I had never heard of Marie Howe, but I was taken immediately with her manner of self-exploration, her charming self-deprecation, and her wit and wisdom. Her ability to link her brother’s death from AIDS, her religion, and everyday mundane things like spilled coffee and a mustard sandwich, was impressive and captivating.

During the interview, Ms. Howe described finding a circle that someone had drawn on the sidewalk. The words “step inside for happiness” were written outside the circle, and “Happiness Here” was written inside the circle. I love–and agree with–the concept that we make a choice to determine our mood or state of well- being. I immediately saw an image for an art piece in my mind, in which people were standing around a box drawn on the ground, trying to decide the ramifications of stepping inside it. The box was surrounded by the word “fear.” Other people were looking away, and up, at ladders* and doors. I held onto this image in my head until this past winter, when I created the art piece.

Discovery of Choice is clearly a meditation and examination of the role we all play in deciding how we are going to live in our world. The piece asks whether we are present for our lives, and if we understand that the choices we make create and shape our lives and, by extension, our world. As the happiness circle drawn on the sidewalk by an anonymous philosopher-artist reminds us, even our mood and state of mind are, at least in part, a choice.

To listen to the conversation between Krista Tippett and Marie Howe, click on this link.. poetry-of-ordinary-time-with-marie-howe/5301

*The ladders are meant to be ambiguous. Are they career ladders, ladders to escape, or “Jacob’s Ladder,” connecting us to something higher?

*This is a very limited edition piece, edition of 1 at size shown, total edition of 12 in all sizes. Piece shown, $12,000.