This year finds me freshening up. Very different than what freshening up would have looked before. A lot less of the constricted feeling of needing to get my act together, and more like following the scent of baking cookies into the kitchen.
I feel like I am on a perpetual treasure hunt now that I've given myself permission to just sink into the sponginess of a moment that requires nothing of me. Why is it in this place that I have everything to give?
At the moment, I am drawn to pink, softness, cuddles, love. This has manifest in many ways, including soft pink sweaters for me and my girls. I am like a kid in a candy store seeing all of the heart-shaped trinkets for Valentines day already in the stores. This always brought about a wave of disgust and stress before. Now it feels like play.
Everything just feels okay. When it doesn't, I find myself softening to it, and focusing on the truth, that I have a choice in how I see this moment, through fear or through love. Love is trusting that it is all for me-- not the good for me and the bad against me. And there are gifts in all of it. I still can't believe it.
It is clear to me that I am committed to loving no matter what, to resetting in an instant when I become a monster. I have surprised myself by choosing love even in the most fearful places, and received the most profound love, recognition and healing coming my way. It's like I can feel the Karma just melting away.
I guess it is simply that I trust allowing myself to feel good. I trust that it is safe to follow the loving voice within, to turn to it and accept its warmth--and oh how it has helped to get me through the constant drizzle/downpour of the Oregon winter.
My creative life is feeling softer too. It is time to play.
I always thought a writer looked like someone who wrote something really amazing and then got recognized for it-- that crossing of the finish line that made the one who aspires to be an artist, an artist.
Even though I've been writing for a good while, have hundreds of thousands of words in a novel, with characters who've come to a stand still at the edge of a proverbial precipice, breathless (as in lifeless for over three years now)-- I've just never considered myself to be a writer. Too hallowed a title.
Now in this spongy place of openness, I finally realize that none of this kind of thinking matters. What it is to be an artist comes from a feeling. I understand how one can let a title of artist feel into the flesh. It begins like a tiny spring gurgling within the mountain, a source that creates lakes within until it spills out, sparkling in the sunshine on its way down the mountain.
And so running to find the artist-self becomes a rather still process--one where I become the mountain and simply let the life giving source fill up the space that allows for what comes from the depths to be expressed.
And although I have yet to begin, I feel parts of me gearing up to play with paint, with clay, with words, to make really big messes, and see what the creations have to show me.
Then it becomes okay that I wrote a novel to myself, unveiling just a few of its pages to friends. I see how the story I wrote had deep significance to my own story, to what would be unveiled and is yet to come. Deep themes that even I couldn't see at the time that have risen to the surface. I see why I never finished. It wasn't about a product. It was about what was ripening within, what was taking form in the womb.
It becomes okay that I have stayed clear of paths of self-promotion, because something in me has known that I hadn't found the treasure of it yet, that the art didn't yet exist for its own expression of it.
And that writing had to feel more loving, more cushioned than my piano days, when I couldn't hear the music anymore, although the keys were moving.
And isn't that the kind of work that I am drawn to, the work that evokes a gasp of surprise, when an author, painter, composer, performer captures something that breathes within me, that sings within me, that walks with me, that changes me.
In this place every moment of the day truly becomes a chance to be an artist-- of breathing, of sleeping, of working, of playing--of loving. And there is felt the pulse, the breathing pink indicative of aliveness.