22 September 2012

an ending to begin again

Every year around this time I fall into what I call one of my quiet spells. Having passed the halfway mark of the year, I find myself needing solitude. A period when I can fold myself inward and simply allow myself to exist. I shed all but the most critical committments and spend time with myself.

The truth is, I can't make art if I don't feel connected to my thoughts. Its that basic for me. If I forget to take stock, to remember what imperfections and trials happened to make me who I am, I feel lost.

Falling into these spells always feels sudden somehow. But I know its not. The awareness of what is happening is slow to come but when I find myself standing in that blank space, I can see when I began to back down, began to give away obligation and have-to's.

I think as artists we feel like we must constantly produce produce produce. There sometimes feels like someone standing beside us keeping stock of our accomplishments, pointing out the new things to try and the only way to be everywhere at once is to run at full tilt all of the time.

But its okay to be quiet too. Its okay to sit with yourself, not make art, not reach beyond yourself and learn to listen what your mind really has to say.

I'm never sure what makes me want to step back into the race, to fill up the space again. Sometimes its an urgent deadline and other times its just a small passing of a thought. I suddenly remember the power of being Artist, that connection with my spirit that is heavy and mysterious and intoxicating.

The spell is passing, nearly gone. I let it go like saying goodbye to an old friend, I know it will be back again. And I know it shows up when I need it most, when I seem to have forgotten how to slow down and feel my art. I can see it again, I can reach for the paint and fabric without hesitation.

Its good to step way from the empty and back into the full.


Jay said...

Deep thoughts!! And I know what you mean...also wanted to tell you thanks for the great article about the Creative Crones and the other groups you wrote about in the current QA magazine. My bunch meets this Monday...so the mail today was very timely!!

mary said...

all year i have not been able to connect with anything creative, way too much changing and adjusting in my life. now that is settling down and i finally feel that "flow" of energy again, i want to create now.

KAM said...

This post spoke deeply to the place I moved inside when I retired from my full-time working outside the studio life. Taking time, being still and listening is, for me, the best guidance system available for my creative self. I write every day in morning pages, my timed write journals and simply making notes and sketches....when there is studio down time this flow of energy that comes from whatever it is that runs my creativity motor just lands on the paper and when I am ready to be in the studio I have a reference library of my own thoughts and sketches to prime the pump of creativity in action. Once that "I have to - I need to" attitude was released and set free, it was my experience that the creativity resource well was deeper and filled more fully than I ever imagined when I felt pushed to be in the studio. The good advice offered by many artists and coaches to just show up and work every day is worthwhile when I am drawing inspiration from a well that is rested, nurtured and fully alive and healthy.
Lynn, your writing today supported my journey and I delight in reading your willingness to honor what it is that you need to be you as artist and creating creative. To only need this time of rest once annually is different than my need which calls for rest after a significant piece of work is completed. Honoring our differences and needs with a non-apologetic attitude is the freedom that allows each of us to fly and float on the thermals of our lives.
I enjoy reading your blog writing every time you post. Thank you for open, always expanding and growing artist words.

Jan Waller said...

I completely get this. I have quiet times into between works. I get asked "What have you been making this week" if I say "Nothing" I get a questioning look, but sometimes I just need to get my head ready. I need to think, and walk, and photograph and sketch.

Judi Hurwitt (Approachable Art) said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous post, very moving and open. Thank you for writing it. <3 (Pinning this, it's too good not to share!)

Kathy said...

I love the way you write. You speak to our creative souls. Thank you.