So this is how it feels. I woke up yesterday, Monday morning, and spent the next eight hours working. Only it was work I have always wanted to do. I painted pieces for the summer art shop. Then I scanned and posted those pieces. Then I made announcements on social media, processed a few inquiries and orders, and before I knew it, the sun was ready to go to sleep.
When the moon was up I wrote. Coaxed a few poem seeds to sprout. Filled out my daily pages.
I was tired enough that when I went to bed at near midnight, the battle with insomnia was short. Then I had a complicated convoluted dream that had Benedict Cumberbatch and Hiroyuki Sanada in it.
Yesterday, to my utter surprise, I was able to finish eleven art pieces.
It all felt good. It all felt right. I was still scared and worried about whether I will sell enough to get me through the month of June but I am moving, and the movement reassures me. I am doing something, and the doing is something I love. I dream of the Tribe Gathering. I dream of him who is a story haunting the blank pages of my life, waiting to manifest. I dream of finally Becoming -- artist, poet, writer, agent of hope, beloved.
Almost as if on cue, I received an email today from a headhunter (a.k.a. recruitment agency). There is a big job looking for a person. And I know enough of myself and my skills that if I wanted it, I could get it. And if I choose to get it, I won't ever have to worry about money. Of course I know how this exchange goes. What gets left out. What gets risked.
It always happens. This test. This trick question.
I am tired of this question. And I am tired of always hesitating over what to answer. Of agonising over imagined consequences. Of guilt rearing its ever-ugly head.
The Shop is open. For the summer -- which in my part of the world is expected to be until June.
It's a temporary opening because I need to study it first, get an idea of what works, smooth out the creases in the details and the process. Then, when all is well, go for a full opening towards the end of the year. I am alone in this, scraping the coins to cover the expenses of setting up and the costs of making the art. That is why everything tends to move slowly, it follows the pace of my cash flow. Being a freelancer and a breadwinner while stubbornly pursuing a creative life does have its unique set of challenges.
But here's the thing. When I finally clicked "Publish" on those shop pages, and when I finally clicked "Post" to announce the shop, I felt a sense of rightness. A feeling of calm settled upon me, quieting most of the agitations in my heart for the past weeks. And whatever anxieties were left behind, the feeling of rightness took them by the hand and said, "The way through is here. Keep the faith."
I am teetering on the edge, as usual, faced with an old dilemma. But I have done this test so many times and I have the suspicion that it keeps coming around because somehow I always just missed the passing grade to make the average score in order to move on to the next level. But I have a good feeling that I may have finally broken through. If my recent night dreams are any sign to go by then I am indeed not hopelessly lost. And everything else will fall into place, everything that has been suspended like the story endings of Scheherazade.
Everyday I have less to lose, less to fear. My own days tick away into the past. Only my hunger grows and sharpens. Only my longings swell into terrifying proportions. Soon I will only be a pulsing thrumming swirling tornado made up of desire. A gathering of black clouds pregnant with lightning and thunder unable to touch the earth. I am wound-up and wounded, all the more strung up with rage for being cornered.
The insomnia is creeping back with a soft vengeance. I make the most of it by weaving poems and stories out of the debris left over from the long battle through midnight and the wee hours of the morning. My lacerated heart heals over enough during the day to withstand fresh assaults when it is time to go to bed.
Today I received orders for the shop. Nine paintings are on reserve. I am stunned. I am happy. I am grateful. Nine is a lot of steps from nothing.
Tomorrow I will work by making more paintings. Revive my daily planner and plot in post office runs and supply runs. Keep records of sales and track payments. Live as if this is not a trial at all but the real thing. That it is happening now. The magic is unfolding.
It is real, it is real, it is real.