Thursday, March 15, 2012
My process painting teacher used to tell us to go where the energy is. Is there energy for it? she would ask, of a color, an image, a particular aspect of the painting we were working on. If so, awesome, keep going, if not, find where the energy is and follow it.
It's a good life lesson, for sure. Maybe even the gold standard. And for art, no question. But what I'm thinking these days, is that it's most likely also a good barometer for blogging. Because the truth is, and as much as I do not want to acknowledge it, the energy for continuing this blog is not there. Has not been there for some time.
Sometimes we have to close doors for others to open. Even when it hurts or is sad or represents the letting go of a particular hope or dream. If you've been a reader here, it is no secret how much I love to write. Also, how much the ability to write has been eluding me. You also know that other creative things are birthing themselves. And there is so much energy there for these things. I scour thrift stores and flea markets and flower shops looking for the perfect ingredients for photos. I work hours editing, sometimes until my eyes literally give out and I have to close my laptop. A certain vase, a particular rose, the way the afternoon light comes in through the window turns me on the way a turn of phrase or particular word or sentence has in the past. I hear Chris' voice echoing from the nether regions of years ago... follow the energy... Still, I resist...
I began this blog as a place to write myself through the most grief-stricken, difficult, painful, confusing, lost period of my life. It has been my friend and companion along the way. Here I have shared, processed, gained insights, tended my wounds, been vulnerable, found my voice, gained confidence, practiced radical honesty, and so much more. After a year on the market, my house in Sonora has finally sold. A seriously difficult chapter closing. The week after I moved all of my stuff out and into storage, I bought myself a bicycle. Traded my house for a beautiful little Nirve comfort cruiser called "Island Flower." (Whose pink rims practically made me swoon when I first spied them in the bike store...) Riding for the first time in over two decades, I am aware of a feeling... a joy, a bliss, a serious contentment, that I have not known in years. A thought occurred the other day, as I rode on a trail that follows a sweet little creek near where I live: I feel like I am getting my life back... It was fleeting, but that did not make it any less welcome... or any less precious.
It does feel as though I am starting to recover. Though I shake in my boots just a little at the uttering of the words. Yet there has come a certain level of seeing and perspective, which tells me there is already enough space from the deepest black of the dark night to get a glimpse of its gifts, to appreciate that it's been a slow, deep, hot burn that has fundamentally altered me, in huge ways, that I am blown away by and seriously grateful for.
I don't understand this call to surrender the want to write. To close the door and let it go. I don't understand or like it, but I do trust it. Because though the desire is great, the energy isn't there, and because just go with the energy always seemed to work; blocks disappeared, pathways became clear, new and vital things arrived on the scene. Whole, amazing paintings happened simply by following the energy. It is so ironic, I look back and see that things only really began to shift with the dark night after there was total surrender, after I got the message to trust it, to honor it, after I began to fight for it instead of fighting against it with every breath in my body - weird I know and yet it is true - I fought for the dark night (though I'm sure what I was actually fighting for was my soul... )
I love this blog. Have loved it from Day One.I've loved putting myself out there and I have loved that people enjoyed it, were inspired by it. But it does feel--though inexplicably--that leaving it behind is the right thing to do. To go with the flow of what is, to see that as I recover, it might actually be appropriate, good and positive even to give up the (cyber)space where it all played out. Just as I had to give up the home where I had become life-threateningly depressed, leave it behind in order to more fully recover and move on to what's next, so, too, here...
...at least for now. Because we really just never know...
God knows I had no idea that I would, in my 60th year, overweight, out of shape, climb onto a bicycle again... or that the first words I would utter, as I cruised around the parking lot of the bike shop would be, OH MY GOD, I AM IN HEAVEN............
We just never know.
Oh, and p.s., you can still find me HERE at my Flickr account. And maybe later elsewhere... who knows... maybe a travel blog or one dedicated to creativity. Maybe I'll be inspired to return here and muse some more... endless possibilities, really, when we don't grasp, and insist on any given one.
Anyway, I close for now...
With serious love, gratitude, and appreciation,
Thursday, March 1, 2012
This pitcher was a gift from one of my sisters decades ago. She bought it for me at the Smithsonian on a trip to D.C. I have loved it from day one, both the pitcher and her thinking of me, knowing the exact right thing for me, so much so that when one of my girls was fooling around one day and knocked it down breaking the handle, I glued the pieces together, glued it back on (unusual behavior for me, as something so broken could not be saved), placed it back on the shelf, and have continued to love it.
I think of how each of us from our little family, parents included, have been broken. I think of this sister, the one that I've wished my whole adult life to have a closer relationship with, and her unexpected call the other day. Hearing her voice, her laughter, bringing back such family memories. Thinking of her own unexpected, unique and serious life challenges over the past few years opens a space in my heart that distance, differences, and misunderstanding oftentimes closed.
Aren't we all broken in some way? Even those of us for whom it is not so apparent on the surface? I love the metaphor of this vase... how life breaks us, no bad intent, just part of this earth walk, and we glue ourselves back together and march on. The scars becoming part of the fabric of our beings; a place of more vulnerability and tenderness for sure, but part of the beauty that makes up the whole. Part of the mystery that doesn't just mark our journey, but creates it, most often unknowingly, and only in hindsight, like gazing from the mountain top we didn't know we were climbing to the sudden vista, looking out at all that we had traversed; the switchbacks, the steep hills and deep valleys, peaceful meadows, the detours and long stretches of isolation and wilderness, darkness and light, the streams forged and rivers rafted, looking back on it all and seeing that truly, we could not have arrived any other way.
And p.s., a few hours after posting this I opened a new book I received in the mail today and found this quote:
Life breaks everyone... but some grow stronger at the broken part. ~Ernest Hemingway
I love life's synchronicities.