Abject terror, rigid doubts that would not let go, intense pressure to perform. Fear, almost immobilizing fear. These were my emotions today as I started to paint again after roughly two months of not painting. Life really can rise up and take us away from our art, no matter how much desire we may have to be making it. Sometimes the most gentle thing we can do for ourselves is to surrender, finish up (as much as is possible) what life is throwing at us, and then begin again. This is where I was today.
And even though I’d decided this was my day to paint, even though I’d placed huge boundaries around the sanctity of that, I had to fight for my time. Numerous requests and demands hit me first thing in the morning—the kinds of things I can’t usually say, “No” to. But today I did say no. I honored the time I had worked hard to set aside, the whole while fearing that I wouldn’t get another day like this any time soon. I really must take a long hard look at my life and its priorities, you think?
But here I am at the easel doing what I council every one of you to do: I’m beginning. I have no vision of what is coming. So I will open to the process, to the universe. I will trust. I will begin, unquestioningly.
And this is comforting—these marks I see my hand making, this connection to the canvas. These bring some peace, some grounding. In fact I forget myself entirely. The angst dissipates into a deep recognition of this ancient process—a process man has been following since the beginning of time when he made marks on cave walls.
Process not product—for me, not for a market.
I begin—a leap into darkness—a birthday gift this day. Just follow the impulses, my heart tells me. Those are the messages, the signs, the guides. And I did listen with an abiding faith. Although I had no idea where the canvas was going, I trusted, pure and simple: put white over here, some umber there, water on top of pencil; what isn’t working for my eye? Work those areas until I see nothing else to change…
And after an intense and long day of painting, this piece has been birthed in concert with the universe. The most important thing I did all day was to get out of the way and let the birthing happen. And I am happy with the result—the continuation of the canyon series.
Thank you, Spirit, for a blessed day of creating. I am deeply grateful.
Love to you all,
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