I hope you have had a relaxing week. The first part of it I spent running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I was trying to get around to visit everyone whilst I had a guest. The summer is soon drawing to a close and indeed today we've had some very mild weather, a taste of the days to come. The greening time never seems to be long enough for me. I like the arching hallways that the leafed trees form on the back roads and twisting lanes, but all seasons have their time.
This summer I haven't been as productive as in years past. I've barely traveled, and I have not made too many things. This year I don't have the excuse of writing a book either, I'm on hiatus from that endeavor for a little bit. I've been focused on promoting the book I've already published which is a job in and of itself. I've focused a great deal on teaching and learning this past season. As well as streamlining some of my business practices and online presence. However I haven't touched clay in months.
For those of you who don't know, aside from my teaching and psychic life coaching and healing work, I am also an artist. Although I prefer to see myself as a maker of things. It's part of what I love and yet it's been far too long since I really have done anything meaningful in my studio. Making pieces has always been a struggle for me. It takes a great deal of energy for me to bring a piece to life. I've often said I've experienced every obstacle to making work you can think of. I've had professors who used to publicly shame and humiliate me. I've had apprenticeships in studios that closed. I've had people back out of deals for firing work after they had fleeced me of labor. I've had a kiln that never quite reached temperature. I had a gallery that was never open so my work sat unseen, and a gallery that sold my work but then didn't pay me for it. The last thing that happened was that there was a leak in basement which weakened the boxes my clay was stored in so that it became permeable to moisture. So now I am stuck with several hundred pounds of clay that is so stiff I can't work with it on the wheel.
I love creating and working in clay, but the idea of just getting started right now is exhausting. For this reason I've let my supplies and equipment sit idle while I put my energies elsewhere. Yet I am not happy about that. As much as I love the healing work that I do, making things is part of who I am. Without it I feel empty, like a part of me is missing. I've just not had the energy or inspiration for the struggle to get things going again. This has led me to feeling like a big failure. The irony is that while I am typing this I am drinking tea from one of my own handmade mugs.
I have made some good work in the past, but I've also had a lot of heartbreak in the past few years. I'm not one of those moody artists who gets more creative when they are down. When I create it is from a space of expansion and joy. Nothing kills my creativity so much as sorrow. Amanda Palmer the singer/songwriter talks about this in a video preceding one of her songs. She says she had only written 3 songs in 2 years because she had been depressed, and the worse thing was the expectation that as an artist she should be using that depression as fuel for her art and when she couldn't that made her depression even worse. (I'll link the video down below. Check her out because she is a goddess of creative energy). So it gets me both ways. Right now I'm at a crossroads of whether to give it all up or try again.
I've decided I am going to try again. My several hundred pounds of clay that is too stiff to work with on a potter's wheel is still useable if I hand build with it. This is something I've done almost none of, but maybe it is an opportunity to grow my skills and bring even more ideas to life through my hands. I've been going through old ceramics magazines and watching how to videos on Youtube. I'm starting to get inspired. I've begun sketching and hoping and looking forward to working again. I'm not quite ready to begin but I am feeding the fires, and refilling the well of inspiration. It takes a bit to reach escape velocity when you've been held down by the inertia that life can sometime exert. I know there will be challenges so I 'm trying to build my excitement until I just can't stand to wait to get into my studio.
So why am I telling you this? Well we all have dreams that we set aside for a time. Sometimes it is for legitimate reasons, but some of us never pick those dreams up again. We think our time has passed, and it is too late to make any difference. If this year has taught me anything it is that we must make use of our time before the sands of our life run out, because they will and then it will be too late. We grow and we change, and sometimes old dreams are outgrown but our deep longings are always there with us. For some it may be to learn to play an instrument so they can start a band with friends, others may want to learn to paint, others may want to write stories, or hike undiscovered trails in the far mountains. We must honor our obligations and duties in life, but we must also reach for our dreams and expand our spirits. We didn't come here just to make a living, we came here to make a life. Those two ideas need not be exclusive to one another. So pick up a pen, a brush, an instrument, or whatever implement you need for your dream. You don't have to be amazing at it, you don't have to earn a living with it, but you do have to put your heart and soul into it. Come on let's break through the inertial dampeners our past has placed on us, it will be more fun together.
Peace and Blessings,