do two things at once?

I straight out admit, I was not born for the digital age. I am not good at doing two things at once. When I travel, I do not blog. I leave home, come back and remember – oh yeah, I have a computer!

I was made embarrassingly aware of my one-track-mindedness when I was doing Pilates classes a number of years ago. Over time, I knew the others whose workouts overlapped with mine and I was eager to engage in conversation. Again and again, the instructor would catch me doing free form movement. “You can’t exercise and talk!” she’d remind me, as I tried to figure out where I was in my routine. Such a surprise to me. Always.

And yes, I did just travel. I drove to Maine to participate in a fundraiser my daughter helped organize, and, as a bonus, met with one of my closest friends from childhood. She joined me at the gathering; the acoustics were terrible for conversation, but to see her face and spend a few moments with her were still precious.

Just talking. Or trying to. And no other agenda. Doing just one thing. So sweet.

And now I’m back. And blogging. One thing.

However, I’m also now realizing that what was a shortcoming for Pilates is perhaps a boon to my art. Whereas I needed to know where I was in a strict routine, in art: I need to capture the feeling. And the mind can sometimes get in my way with that.

I am now remembering the art teacher – the one who recommended doing art while talking on the phone – also saying that, if you wear glasses, take them off. It was a similar idea: to create the art from that space of blur. And later, to also view the piece without the details. Viewing with the fog. In fog you get the gist. The gist can tell a lot.

So, no, I may never be good at doing two things at once. But sometimes, what is considered a handicap can be a blessing. Sometimes the art comes through with greater strength, greater clarity when the mind is less in charge.

Do two things? Maybe I can. Maybe not exercise routine and talking. Maybe not travel and blogging.

But… talk(or listen) and art? It may be what works for me. Really works.