The only way to go is up. Or so they say.
Unless, of course, when you fell, the bottom gave out and dropped you into a deeper tunnel before collapsing over the hole you made and now you are squeezed in and have to crawl your way out before you can start going up.
But here I am, still breathing, belly quite full from dinner, still with a roof over my head. At this very moment everything is alright. I don't want to think ahead nor think of all the wrong or missed turns in the past. I have both my parents still, very much alive and hearty despite their own personal dramas and inner demons. I have my friends, my tribe, my kindred spirits -- a meagre handful compared to everyone else's who I'm supposed to be like, compared to the rest in the category I am supposed to be in, but all true. I have my art, I have my creative journey. I have my faith.
I will go downstairs in a few minutes and make myself a mug of coffee. There is hot water. There is coffee. There is gas and electricity. There is internet. When I pass by the fridge I will avert my eyes to avoid the sight of the pinned late unpaid bills. I'll take care of them, but not now. Not at this moment.
I have done work for today. Finished another art commission. Started on the next. Also started on a shop piece so there's two of them going on at the same time. I did the work that I could, given the strength and will available to me. My mind would not stop churning and turning over ideas on how else I can move people to decide to buy something, how to persuade them to become patrons.
I was in a sulk earlier this afternoon. So much so that I was resentful, and for a while allowed myself to wallow and whine. In the process I un-followed and un-liked pages and people in my social media feed who only heightened the feeling of being disadvantaged -- especially those whose circles would not be broken into, whose cliques only orbited within certain solar systems and somehow never found me or my art worth sparing a small space for, whose networks were tight and exclusive and significantly dependent on who you know.
And then I was tired, and I guiltily crept into bed for a nap, and fell into a dreamless sleep.
There was a query for a dayjob project yesterday, in the late afternoon. If it pushes through I'll have a small bit to tide me over the rest of this month and possibly the next. I performed the necessary steps to be able to prepare the proposal which is due on Monday morning. Already I am telling myself to be grateful. So maybe the dayjob has to save me this time. Again. Maybe next time the art will be able to manage things on its own. Maybe not. Maybe there is a longer tunnel before the light shows itself. Before I am allowed to get up from being mired to the ground to lift my face towards the sky.
How am I still so hopeful? Still so stubborn? Am I, perhaps, foolish instead of faithful? False instead of true? Misled instead of inspired?