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I used to be a Republican. Then one day a bunch of people decided to sleep in a park on Wall Street and I read their (admittedly fuzzy) statements about why. So I decided I was a liberal. Then I remembered I was still decidedly pro-life in all areas including death penalty, war, and yes abortion. So I decided I was Libertarian. Then I found loosely regulated guns disturbing. So I decided I was confused.

All the time. This is what it looked like today:

Yes, that is two coffee cups (both empty) and two water bottles. Also my hairspray. It’s black and white because it’s almost too frightening to look at.

We just got home from an ECHL hockey game. It’s our team’s inaugural playoff round and the game went into a second overtime. My husband loves games like that but then, he’s the philosopher goalie. You may think that’s a strange combination, but ten minutes in his company and somehow it makes sense. He can quote Keirkegard then yell his team to victory all in one breath.

I on the other hand hate that kind of game. My knuckles go white every time the puck is in our defensive zone. I think I need a massage just to recover from those five periods.

So what does this have to do with art? On the way I thought of a piece I made in college titled “tension.” The piece consisted of two unstretched canvases hanging from the ceiling. The were held apart by dowels while laced together with twine. It was an odd piece and not well developed, but I was trying to express that feeling of simultaneously bursting at the seams and holding back. I felt like that for the last three hours!

Art is like that. Artistic ideas and feelings are grand and insist on being expressed. Creativity often feels like a fever. It must find an outlet. On the other hand, expressing them well requires discipline and practice. Lots of it. There’s a reason we refer to an artist’s “work.” Artists are bursting at the seams with ideas, but held back by the restraints of ability.

What does all that have to do with a hockey game? As an artist I believe emotion is a valuable experience, even if unpleasant, and especially if intense. Who knows? Five periods of hockey may lead to another attempt to express the push and pull of emotion and restraint. In the meantime, I’ll watch more hockey and ask my husband if Keirkegard had anything to say about tension.