Today is one of those days when I am convinced I should just get a regular job and gamble the consequences to my art process and progress.
But I am certain without a doubt that by tomorrow I will be thinking and feeling differently.
Today I received a message from a dear friend who let me know that my art has made another person happy. Immediately my resolve to grit my teeth through a dayjob wobbled.
Later tonight I will be going to a wake of a family friend. Faced with the ultimate unpredictability and certainty of life at the same time -- the not-knowing when and the sureness of death's arrival -- I am pushed back to my stubborn stance of sticking to my creative path.
Having been off online interactions, my website visits have dropped and nothing has moved in the shops. Imagine the drumming of panic inside me at the "lost" time and opportunity. But I needed the break, for many reasons. And in the end I believe that what I gained from it will outweigh the seeming loss.
Recovering my reading pace is a crucial thing. It helped loosen the constriction in my writing, so I have been writing words in my journal again instead of simply getting away with painting images. I was able to sleep better, despite the nonstop nagging of worries. My days have started to feel like full circles again, with the full complement of reading, writing, and painting. By Wednesday I had decided to skip visiting the calendar to further ease the pressure to do something, to prevent myself from fiddling with what I had set up and thus compromise the flow of Things with my fussing. There must be a time of rest, a time of ripening. A time of waiting and trusting and simply keeping faith.
I have abandoned the open garage renovation last night. I realised it could be a made-up distraction to keep me from forging ahead (not to mention that the fix-up will require cash I cannot spare -- which is one of the warning signals that it may not be the best option now) . While I (occasionally desperately) need more space and more light, not having them is not an excuse to stop or delay. I will have them when it is time to have them. Perhaps they will even be given, earned, gifted, and maybe I do not even need to give it to myself because what I need is to do what I have to do as a true artist and the rest will fall into place, taken care of.
I cannot do everything. Not for myself, not for others, not for everyone.
Every day I have to make a choice where I will put my time and my strength and my heart. Every day I have to weigh things and find the most fair and the most kind decisions -- for myself and for others.
Yesterday, after deciding that the open garage project is likely to be distracting than productive, I made one last tweak to my painting space.
I stood on a chair to take this photo. That chair is what I'm sitting on as I write this. My writing space is about the same size as my painting space, and they all fit under the stairs.
I decided, if I particularly need space and light, i will just have to put together a go-bag and spare a bit of cash to hang out in one of the cafes in the neighbourhood. I honestly find it quite troublesome but I will work with it for now.
Last night I poured out three pieces in my sketchbook.
I am still unable to touch the papers on the easel, or to resume work on my commissions. I am still too caught up with worries and kept from focusing. I could force myself but the ill feelings will taint my work.
So I am going into it in circles, gently taking myself a long roundabout way while slowly carefully shedding the negative energies. So I fixed the painting space, and tidied up my closet, and ran every errand I could think of so I would not have to get out of the house again for a while unless I need the space and light. I worked in my sketchbook, hoping that soon enough the images would want to come out and become independent. I read and fed myself with beautiful words. I slept long hours. I dreamed yearning dreams. I wrote my way through the days, clearing my head, unknotting my soul-limbs. I feel so cramped and at the same time I feel stretched out thin.
It is a Friday. I do not have much to show as fruits of my break since Monday. Not much that is tangible. A lot of work happens in the dark, or in the invisible, and often beneath our awareness and consciousness. Sometimes it is difficult to convince people that something is happening. Sometimes it is difficult to convince myself.