Sunday, August 18, 2013


"In a world where you are constantly asked to be 'committed,' it is liberating to give yourself the license to be a dilettante. Commit to nothing. Try everything.”
Tom Hodgkinson, The Freedom Manifesto

I came across this quote the other day and the irony amused me. I call this Blog the Wet Coast Dilettante, which I started as a way to be committed to write once a week. So far I have kept the commitment. I never intended to be a dilettante in my writing only in my interests.

I haven’t read the Freedom manifesto but if I find a copy I’ll give it a go.  The writer advocates for nonmaterialistic and anticonsumerist living. This has been my own philosophy currently. Oh yes, I still buy more than I should and still use too many convenience products, but it has definitely lessened. This is both by choice and by necessity. I would say necessity made it a choice. Yet that is why I’ve embraced the necessity whole heartedly. I believe I’ve become better for it.

As an artist it often bothers me how much paper and canvas can get used and I am trying to think of ways to be less wasteful. I reuse my canvases and seldom throw them out. The paper I use is still stuff I found from umpteen years ago and never used. This is for my quick sketches. Yet I have also accumulated a lot of material in my quest for artistic expression.

I have been a dilettante with technique. I try a variety of mediums and styles to find my voice. I am committed to try everything. Same as with my writing. I’ve written poems, essays and short stories. I am committed to variation. I don’t know if there is a word to describe that, but it is certainly part of my freedom manifesto.

I thank my son for the above photo. I like looking at it. It gives me a sense of calm and freedom. He took it on one of our many walks. Perhaps he said it best: "You are quite determined to be determined but you are lousy at being determined." He said this after I stated I needed to do housework for the fiftieth time.I gave myself license to be a dilettante.

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