Monday, December 14, 2009

seven months in animated suspension

. . . and the next thing you know, your entire world falls careening from the sky . . . or no, wait, maybe the perspective is completely upturned and your whole world rises gracefully spiraling upward. Sometimes, the way we look at the events in our life misleads us. Our focus is on what's missing rather than on what spaces have recently opened up around us, allowing new growth to occur. Sometimes we create the open spaces ourselves because the overgrowth, untended for so many years, has started to choke the life out of us, and our last resort is to clear it all away.
. . . I guess in a way, that's been my process the last few months. Without mucking around in the dirt (-y details), I'll just say that my life has changed considerably in the last few months. My relationships have changed, my habits changed. My teaching is the same, though actually a little better since I am leaning so heavily these days on the familiarity of it, and the sense of confidence I get from it. But every other relationship has changed, as has my physical environment.
. . . and I guess what I really want to write in this entry is a question. How do we remain tethered (and I mean the good kind of tethered, the grounded kind) to our identities, our true artistic and creative selves, our spiritual selves, when everything we are familiar with is gone? When all faces are new and we've put aside the comfort of the familiar in order to find something better for the second half of our lives--a truer sense of self, a clearer vision of what we've wanted for so many years, and the courage to take that path to find it? When an artist decides to walk away from her secure, familiar place because she has examined her life and sees that place as creatively oppressive and draining, and instead walks toward the unknown, the unpredictable, and the last thing she feels like doing is making art (because it's soul-baring--soul-flaying-- and fills her with more fear of the unknown), how does she get past that?
. . . nothing left to blame my reticence on now. I've changed my world so that I can fully engage and explore my artist self. I can't very well say now that I can't engage and explore because I've changed my life. A bit too convenient, don't you think? And a bit cowardly.
. . . so that's it for now. A question. A pause to consider parameters, or the lack of such.