(All photos are from our recent trip to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park! Such a gorgeous place!!)
Well, as soon as I wrote in my last post that I paint every day, I haven't painted in three days.
I've been thinking lately about how my life seems to progress in these big waves, bringing things into my life that seem to define me for a while and then they disappear and life goes on.
For example, Daniel and I used to play folk music. We played almost every day for quite a few years. We were even in a group and performed from time to time. Music defined us, not just playing but in terms of our friends and travels. And then one day, that part of our lives was done and I have hardly picked up an instrument since. I don't miss it, although I still love listening to the music.
That seems to be how I function. I love the experience while it lasts and then I am full onto the next thing. Without looking back. Without regret. Most of the time.
There was a time when I was a career woman. For quite a few years and I loved it (mostly). And when it was over, it was over. I've not looked back and I shake my head thinking that that had been me. It seems like a different life, a different person.
Can you see the black bear in the grass?
Now I have discovered my own creativity and that feels completely different. I've been painting and discovering my creative side in depth for the last five years and I wonder what took me so long. How did I function without it? It's become so essential to who I am these days.
Strangely, the way this happened for me was by moving to Savannah. While Savannah is beautiful and I love being near the ocean, I don't feel connected to this place like I have to other cities and states we have lived in (New Mexico, for example or California). Our house is home to me, the town is not.
Because of that, I have spent more time at home than ever before. I had stopped working by the time we moved from Albuquerque and suddenly found myself being a "housewife," not a title I really liked (mostly because it's not my passion and I'm not that good at it). I found myself without a clear definition of who I was and never knew how to answer that recurring question: "So, and what do YOU do?"
I had to learn to just be with me and to be ok with not knowing where this would take me. And in that space of not knowing, that's where I felt the first creative stirrings, remembering that I used to love to knit when I was a teen and maybe I could take it up again.
From there I discovered the phenomenon of blogging and the amazing online community it created. I saw some blogs of people doing collages and started thinking that maybe I could do that as well. And when I started making art, I wanted to blog about it publicly and share my creative journey with my new online community. That actually surprised me as I have always been a very private person.
Suffice it to say my life was never the same. I notice it especially this year as I am really giving myself permission to be me and have stopped worrying so much about what others might think.
It's a powerful experience and quite unfamiliar to me and scary at times. To put my art and creations out there for everyone to see, even those I know might judge it insufficient. I'm observing myself not caring about their opinions so much and I am astounded.
Many years ago I saw a vedic astrologer (I was in my mid-20s). He told me back then that my most wonderful years would begin in my 40s. He spoke of art and writing and beauty and ease and travel in my life at a time when I believed I didn't have a creative bone in my body. I was convinced he was wrong. And now I am living it.
This is happening rather late in my life as I am approaching my 50s, but I don't think I could have been ready for this any earlier. My life, especially my inner life, has evolved in a rather circuitous route and that's ok. Do I sometimes wish I could have found all this sooner? Sure! But I guess in a way the timing of it happening now is perfect. Maybe exactly because I am in my mid-life (assuming I live to a ripe old age...).
It makes me look forward to what else there might be in store for me and for you all! I love reading about your accomplishments, your realizations, your triumphs.
I firmly believe that each of us have something very unique to contribute to the world whatever that may be. Some of us know what it is from an early age and the rest of us figure it out as we go along.
As George Eliot said so eloquently: "It is never too late to be what you might have been."