Possibly a consequence of suddenly finding rest and refuge in the act of painting without ulterior motives.
The long sleep brought me a dream story about a person who became what he needed. He was beautiful and strange and filled with so many secrets. In the dream story he was my closest friend and he was also the farthest. I was the one who protected his becoming from the onslaught of Things that would destroy him. And then when he was all that he ever wanted I braced myself to let him go. I had no claim and I hid my own secrets. In the dream story I painted gigantic canvases of deep forests. I hid my own dreams of him among the trees. I hid among the flowers. I scattered a trail of seeds and bread crumbs. Because loose ends and loopholes sometimes are the toeholds of divine interventions, or cosmic jokes. Either way it was the only thing I could do. My own heart is mute and terrified in the din of its own desires. I am all wrong. I am not worthy. I am every shade of mistake.
I woke up thinking I need to buy envelopes for the newly-printed blank cards. And that I should get the cash from the bank for paying the electric bill, and the cable bill, and the internet bill. The morning is long gone. I started calculating the hours I have left for all the tasks that need doing. My mouth started craving for coffee.
In tiny ways invisible to the eye. In ways that offer no excuses to be forgiven. In ways that only appear as weakness or laziness or simple utter failure.
But then I started to paint. Waded through the growing pile of to-dos and silenced all the task alarms and painted. Not about what I think will sell, or what I think will be popular. Not about the little compromises and tweaks, the softening of edges and taming of wildnesses. Instead I let my hand paint strange petals and leaves and other oddities that an impossible flower may choose to have. Beneath the ink and paint the seeds of words fluttered tapping codes into the back of my mind. Doorways and keys and unfinished locks. Windows and cracks on the wall. Glimpses, glances, accidental touches. In the blink of an eye I could step across an ocean and press a hand over an unsuspecting heart.
The breaking stopped.
October feels stretched out and long this year. Does it mean then that the veil is thinner, being all pulled at the edges and shivering with tension like a held breath before the confession of a long secret desire?
I try to slip a limb into the mad rush towards the too-loud, too-bright, too-manic excitement of Yuletide and I wince.
Yesterday right in the middle of being sane and productive and reasonable I felt something shut off inside me and I had to take myself to bed.
I used to be able to glimpse the shimmer of doorways even though I never could get close enough to get in. I was always just ten thousand lifetimes short of being invited.
Now my eyes are only seeing the flowers but not the heart from which they grew their hungry thirsty roots.
But I have become so good at thinning myself into invisibility that no one notices even when I try to be seen. I've always found safety in my shell but lately I find that too much safety can also hurt.
There is a person across the ocean trampling through my wildforest and does not see me even while his hand presses upon the ancient tree that carries a vein of my spirit pulsing upon his palm. He flits and fleets through the paths, making play of slipping in and out of his world and mine. He never realises that he steps into another Place, only that something changes inside him, an unexplained question shaped into a wordless longing.
The Stories are ripe and heavy on the branches, skins starting to burst and wanting to fall to the soft waiting earth blanketed with leaves as bright as fireworks.
A pumpkin waits and wishes to become a magic carriage instead of a jack-o-lantern.
The title may sound like waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but it isn't like that at all.
I got up late because I like sleeping in a bit on Mondays. I like savouring that tiny bit of fact that I did not have to get up early before sunrise and get dressed and endure the road traffic to get to an office I could not leave until after sunset.
It's going to be a long day but it will be a long studio day. I've put on a favourite pair of soft pants with a cat-printed shirt (that my late grandma has given me) for doing various work with, including clearing the studio of accumulated clutter from the dayjob weeks and getting back into painting.
I'll have to stay put in the house until the next paycheck comes in. (My Thor Ragnarok date this week is on the rocks.) The October bills have come in.
But I will not regret or feel guilty about buying myself a can of spiced tea yesterday (or the jar of Colombian coffee that accompanied it).
You'll find me writing more now. The first few days, even weeks, will be mostly mundane things. Tediousness of my daily life. Eventually I'll find that the floor beneath my feet have started to get rough with scattered leaves, and the hard cement gives way to wood, and then softer earth. Eventually I'll be able to speak forest language again. Maybe this time I can stay longer. Maybe this time I can stay for good. Maybe this is where I need to stay put to be found.
My dad wanted to have lunch out and we ended up staying in the malls until seven in the evening. It’s a thing here, to hang out in the malls for whatever reason (because it’s airconditioned and clean and bright and we don’t have decent parks). I made the most of it by:
- buying more watercolour paper and envelopes
- buying a vacuum insulated tumbler where I can have all my purchased beverages put in and I won’t have to use paper or plastic cups again (I even have my own reusable stainless steel straw)
- buying a lip brush so I can use up every bit of my favourite lipsticks and not have to buy new ones until everything’s all used up (the brush is inexpensive)
- discovering and buying two packs of cotton twine (each pack has 3 balls for only $1 per pack) which I plan to use for packing orders as well as art material for my mixed media paintings
My sister and I also took our time having coffee and dessert.
In the process I walked more than 10,000 steps according to my Health App tracker.
So now I’m reorganising my to-do list. A fresh restart tomorrow of what I had intended to do today.
By the way, the poll I mentioned in the previous post —