When I tell family and friends that I'm in grad school, the first question I receive is, "What is your focus?" Inevitably, the follow-up question is, "What do you want to do after?" While I do not have a firm answer for the latter, the former has been a question that has been at the forefront of my mind since the first day of class.
Fourteen years in my previous career provided me with an experience that was rich, but with a narrow field of vision. I was ready to broaden my creative horizon beyond what was familiar and comfortable.
My intention has been to be open and explore as many ideas as possible in my first semester. See what resonates. This curiosity has led me down some unintended paths, and I've tried to keep one foot planted in my initial inspiration (Robert Frost's poem, For Once, Then, Something) as my pivot point for this exploration.
This open-ended process eventually funneled itself into a soft focus. I began to see patterns. Repetition created a sense of inertia.
My exploration (and connection to the Frost poem), seems to be revolve around the physical and symbolic qualities of water. And within this idea emerged four additional arteries for exploration (also physical and symbolic) - reflection, perspective, distortion, and limen.
These ideas could consume a lifetime's work to consider. They shift and blend and branch out into other areas - such as time, memory, life, and death.
The ghost of career past has been haunting me. The impulse to close the loop, and move onto the next task exists. But the last few months have revealed a different approach. It's about questions that lead to other questions. And this approach does not have an end.