"You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has not choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."
I've been feeling quiet, finding it hard to come up with something to say that encapsulates the happenings in my creative life this week. And it's not because nothing has happened; it's because there's a lot going on in my heart and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed! Plus, I'm afraid that despite my efforts this month to "rest" and still be productive, all four of us came down with a cold that required even more resting, this time without productivity. So I must say goodbye to September, the month I expected to embrace with the heart of a lion, and watch these last few hours fade to twilight with the quietness of a lamb.
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and confidence is your strength..."
Interestingly, I do feel power in this quietness. The Creative Courage e-course started this week with some serious journal exercises for facing your fears and defining your creative dreams. This is hard and emotional work! If you're like me, you want to accomplish the task in one sitting so you can move on and start accomplishing those dreams. But even big dreams happen in small steps. And the dreaming and the doing are both such hard work. Thankfully, Stephanie Levy's course even includes exercises for dealing with "dream overload!"
One exercise involves making a list of all the things you accomplished in a day--especially on a day (or maybe a week like mine) when it feels like you accomplished nothing at all! Stephanie calls this a "done" list, which should include all of the daily living activities and little chores you accomplished, plus any steps you made toward accomplishing your creative dream. With this list you prove to yourself how busy you really are and you celebrate the importance of all the small accomplishments in your day.
If I'm honest with myself, and if listen when I tell me not be so hard on myself, then I realize this: Sometimes the reason I feel like I accomplished nothing at the end of the day is because I was simply enjoying the day, enjoying life.
So what if I space out a little sometimes. Like with these photos. This week Hamburg has received the belated gift of summer, and when I should have been painting I was admiring the slant of light-and-shadows that fell across my living-room-studio, the way it illuminated paint floating transparent on paper, glinted off of bright, slim pencils gathered on my desk, warmed the worn gingham of favorite quilts almost new again, freshly arrived (thanks to the generosity of dear friends) from the U.S., and brightened the mess of colorful blocks, scattered across floor in a happy display of chaos.
"Creativity is God energy flowing through us, shaped by us, like light flowing through a crystal prism. When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain."
As I made my "done" list, I realized that "productivity" is such a relative term. In wandering around my sun-bathed apartment, seemingly doing nothing at all, I was really admiring and giving thanks for all of this light reflected in the joys of my heart and the people I love. And I felt home like I haven't felt in a year--both here in this little apartment and in my own skin that tingles and aches as I stretch for the stars.
- - - - -Thank you, friends, for all of your lovely comments on my first artist interview this week! A few brave souls decided to link-up too, despite my very vague explanation ;). If you're interested in the new "Storytellers on Tuesdays" link party, please peek at the about page and please PLEASE don't feel shy about sharing anything on your blog--old post or new--that you feel has an element of "story," even if it's not what you consider "art." It could even be a single photo--it's up to you. I'm looking forward to seeing an encouraging little community grow here, people who listen and learn from each other's stories.
Finally--the giveaway news. Last Friday your insights and interpretations of my newest painting, "A Prayer" just blew me away! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. The randomly selected winner of an A4 print from my Etsy shop is . . . Kristin Dudish! Yay!
Thanks to you all again, and thanks to Studio JRU, Paint Party and Artists in Blogland for some great Friday link-ups!