The adventure began with a conversation involving Shelley, and quickly moved from an empathetic exchange about early alzheimer’s, alcohol addiction and our parents aging process to a road trip to the midwest.
We would travel near Chicago. I had 4 old friends I would love to see, so the plan moved quickly along, spurred by my fully paid return ticket and a chance to leave the snowy Vermont spring and daydream out the window.
Now I’m back, processing my trip, sorting my laundry, my life, my thoughts. Thinking about the next piece I will create.
Winter always gives me more lessons than I’ve signed up for.
This season I learned about hosting art openings during blizzards (no wonder there was a gap in the schedule allowing me to have a show during that time). I had two blizzard openings in three months.
I’ve learned that next year I’ll plan to put snow tires on my all wheel drive vehicle.
I’ve learned that podcasts, books on tape, library books, you tube videos and old letters sent to my mother 40 years ago, are all good reading and listening to while painting and plotting out new projects (I already knew this but it’s good to remember).
While the snow piles up outside I’ve learned that I can sketch out cartoons, throw out papers, and make yet another new soup recipe.
Creativity abounds, if that’s what I am choosing to focus on (I am).
The tight pants, the greying hair, the friends who call to complain, the blizzards, the dark nights, I choose not to focus on.
Life is finite!
What will I create that will make some impact on the world today?
Discernment wasn’t a word I used for the first 50 years of my life.
The word means “the ability to judge well”. I’m pretty good at being “judgemental” (ask my friends and siblings.) but “judging well” has been more recent.
In regards to being an artist, I am learning to discern. Not just with colors or materials for pieces I am creating. Questions like this pop into my head “what is the best use of my talents as an artist?”
Gathering groups together, encouraging others to make art, organizing community art in old folks homes, bereavement camps and writers conferences all interest me.
The actual doing art I love. But the bigger picture, how to share the process with others is called into question as I am aging. And I wonder what is the best use of my talents?
I don’t think I would every want to change my habit of getting up early in the morning, but you never know.
This year I changed my habit of showing my wares at little craft shows around the state.
I decided I would make sure the stores I sell to had plenty of inventory and let them do the selling.
I have one small open house at the local B & B I will participate in (see Event page) but I thought I would try a new pattern this holiday season.
At some point I have to take care of the details in my life. The obvious details I have taken care of. But when I am not frantic, or in survival mode, there are different layers of “taking care of details” that are going on, if I look:
looking through old journals and files and getting rid of, or using old writing to create new work.
looking at what I do that helps or prevents me from getting the juicy, wonderful work of my life done and changing that habit.
living from completion: create, clean up/put away what just happened. repeat.
I am struck by how much work I have already done. How can I use my time to continue that work, incorporate it in to my current work and thrive?
I am doing what I love.
Eager to go.
Writing the stories which erupt inside of me after the death of my Mom a year ago. Stories which have been percolating for years: poaching in the crock pot of my experiences…growing up slowly, being a wife, motherhood, divorce, single motherhood, transformation, re-marriage, empty nest, freedom from a certain view of myself.
The thread running through the whole experience, me, writing down vignettes, painting pictures, assembling collages, fumbling, beginning again.
Beginners mind, forgiving myself for all that I lack. Paying attention to what I have.
Spending a whole day doing what I love is amazing, even a few moments of it can make a big difference in my outlook.
In the midst of chaos and uncertainty I arrange a shelf, write a kind note, or make a small painting in the studio (which maybe nobody buys but makes me feel good).
I am here reporting that doing something I love everyday has made a difference in keeping myself open to the world.
I recommend it.