The next number of posts, all titled Conversations on… come from email communications between a dear friend and me. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain to everything we’ve been discussing on the blog. Kate is in the process of trying to figure out how to be a writer and still maintain her teaching job. At her request I’ve changed her name and am using initials for people she brings up. It’d be great if you all would join our conversation…
I wasn’t really surprised at all to hear you say you have been “slammed” lately. I know there are periods when the work is overwhelming in one way or another. Whether it’s many elements demanding high focus, energy, and resources simultaneously, other external demands and obligations, or inner frustrations, questions, and blocks, I imagine these to be the episodic and inevitable challenges of a creative life. It also doesn’t seem surprising that some might have illusions that creative work is somehow less stressful in these ways or less vulnerable to periods of being pressed, uncertain, or overwhelmed on some level or another than an “ordinary” life. I trust that you are pushing through it, whatever form the pressure (if pressure is an accurate term) is taking in your work and life. I know your core resources are deep and abiding, and you have come to know and understand them well, and they will continue to serve you well. That kind of knowing and that kind of tenacity are things that I admire in you very much.
Yes, yes and yes. My overwhelm probably included/s aspects of everything you bring up. The blog is so voracious. It just keeps eating up posts. I’ve been committed to painting (I just delivered 11 new pieces to Hand Artes Gallery) and my focus has been there. It’s absolutely stunning how quickly a four week lead disappears. I only have a week’s padding now and I’d lost my inspiration for generating ideas and writing. But it’s back, I’m happy to say. That weekly calendar just keeps nipping at my heels though! Starting tomorrow I get to write full time for a long stretch. Then I need to start painting some new pieces for Anna and my gallery and Bill wants to feature my work at the gallery in May, so I must get more pieces to him. Add to that my financial fears and just the necessities of LIFE… Wow! How do we find an ongoing balance? I guess we just hold that as a goal and appreciate it whenever we feel it. And, yes, pressure is, unfortunately, a PERFECT word.
Thank you, deeply, for the beautiful compliment you paid me. When things get really tough, when I go to ground, I always find that bedrock now. It hasn’t always been the case and I’m so grateful for it. It DOES serve me well. It always guides me back to the light. I appreciate your seeing that.
You are accomplishing so much these days, and with extraordinary momentum. I honor your resilience–your energy, direction, and focus–by recognizing how hard you have worked to reach a full and dynamic state of richness and growth in your artist’s life. Despite your struggle to find equilibrium with the blog, and then not only maintaining but continuing to develop and reflect on your process as you go forward, you still have energy to share, teach, guide. We have so much to learn from you and the good energy you give to the world.
I see your mountains in my mind’s eye. I see them with the sun dipping down behind in one day’s last moment of intensity, even though I know it’s the middle of the day. Take a deep breath and think about all you have accomplished in the past few months. Look out over your land and the land beyond it, which speaks to you every day and every night, renews your purpose, and lives in your art. I will take hope in that conversation, and I will find strength in knowing that my own journey brings me closer to the life I desperately want to live.
Each moment of connection, each period of growing, is a miracle to note, marvel at, and cherish.
Thank you for your kind and supportive words. I am feeling more and more the depth of what is being accomplished. I’m catching the scent of guidance and my purpose is being renewed and rejuvenated. It is the land that sustains and gives solace when I’m in my own dark place. It is always there beckoning, nurturing, showing me everything will be alright.
A new series is birthing–from the most recent pieces I’ve just completed. They were transitional and took me back to my roots to when I first began the abstracts. Now this land has shown me how she wants to show up, in the old ways that are, at the same time, new and of this place. Miraculous. Can’t wait to get my hands “dirty”.
Thank you, Kate, for your abiding belief in me. It’s more important than I can say.
Just know that we have a life project ahead of us as friends, colleagues, seekers, givers, women with vision who see the world in like ways. I am so inspired to live that project!
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Love to you all,
All photos in today’s post except for the first one were shot by Kevin Hulett.