My well-meaning intent to post every Wednesday has already passed me by this week. Life and work (good work) just got in the way. I’m definitely on a learning curve with this blogging thing, and I thank you for your patience. But guess what, this is DAY ONE, and I’m PINCHING myself because I GET TO do this!!!!! I hope you feel the same way when you face a little – or BIG – setback. Onward…….
The quote this week, by Albert Camus, is one of my all-time favorites because it completely describes me. I can quite quickly get deeply mired in the hopeless feelings of depression when something goes terribly and unexpectedly wrong.
WINTER = things seem dead, depressing, hopeless, cold, isolated.
I’m guessing you can strongly relate to this. We all have had difficult setbacks, and probably have endured great tragedies, perhaps many times over. How we cope and react to these events varies greatly, and has a lot to do with where we are in life at that point. And you learn. And the more you live, the more you realize that somehow things will get better, even if you can’t possibly see or feel how, at the moment.
I have had, and continue to have, many “winters”. We have a family member with deep problems that cause chaos and disorienting disruption within our family on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. It feels like WINTER when friends and family turn their backs on us, because the situation seems hopeless and helpless and they don’t know what to do, and I understand that. And the these problems are chronic, with no “cure” to look forward to. In fact, most people don’t want to hear about it at all, because there is no fix, no solution. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with, and I’m not expecting anything from anyone. I’m just describing how I feel. For us, all we can do is to keep going and endure. And yet, in the depths of those helpless hopeless feelings, I am amazed that still my soul reaches out toward HOPE.That little pinpoint of light that sneaks into the corner of my mind’s eye. Like a wink and a giggle that whispers, everything’s going to be OK.
SUMMER = things are alive, vibrant, happy, bright, the world is peaceful and connected
In the past, before this family situation existed, I thought I was pretty happy. No, very happy. I took an awful lot for granted. I had worked hard to create the life I wanted, and felt I had succeeded. I had suffered many tragedies, but of the more “expected” kinds (deaths of loved ones, endings of relationships, professional disappointments, etc.) Nothing, however, absolutely nothing had prepared me for the type of problems I described above: chronic, cureless, endless, hopeless, depressing.
FINALLY I had to dig deep in a way I never had before. I really really had to face who I was, what real commitment means to me, and how to manage ongoing stress. And I like what I found. Imperfect as I am, I am doing this. Walking the walk. Stumbling quite often, but moving, if only a millimeter at a time. I GET TO do this, and I feel blessed and privileged to do so. A little sunrise beating in my heart, always. I don’t know why, but I’m not questioning it. Within me lies and INVINCIBLE SUMMER that will not, can not, be extinguished, no matter how often I find myself in WINTER.
A big part of my emotional self-care is creating art. I have always loved combining words and art, but was not comfortable or confident doing so. Until I discovered the work of Melody Ross and the Brave Girls Club (http://bravegirlsclub.com/wing-sessions). I know many of you are part of this club too and love Melody and her work as much as I do. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, I can’t urge you strongly enough to check it out! Not just for art techniques (which are phenomenal) but for the soul work behind it.
Years ago, one of my summer hippie jobs in college was tooling leather belts for a French artist, to sell at craft fairs. It was fun, but not wildly creative. Fast forward a few decades, I went to Brave Girls Camp and learned Melody’s “chip art” techniques. With lots of help on finishing techniques from the queen herself, Camille, Wonder Cam, the Leather Whisperer (http://shesonehotmama.blogspot.com/). And now I’m addicted to making tooled leather jewelry. This is a cuff bracelet I made for my dear friend Michelle, who always has HOPE beating in her heart:
The an invincible SUMMER collage/sign was a fun experiment with gels and pastes and powders and paint and mediums and metallics and stencils in making the background. In other words, JUST PLAYING. No outcome in sight. Experimenting. And you know what, it always seems to amazingly come together! There is no secret, I have no special gift. I’m just doing it. For those of you who say “I wish I could do that”, I say, “YOU CAN” and you deserve to take the exquisite time for yourself to do it.I know you have an invincible summer beating within you. Even if you haven’t recognized it in a very long while. Tell us about it, please! How do you find it? What is it? Make sure and check back because I respond to all your comments. I love you so much, dear reader. Thank you.