I. I started a painting a few days ago when I was in a pretty good place. Worked on it yesterday when I was *not in a good place*. Achieved what to me looked like OMG DOOM.
This is always an interesting experience for me, because I know there are going to be people who love my version of OMG DOOM, just as I love other people’s versions of OMG DOOM.
So I shared it on Facebook, because I wanted to share that truth – that sometimes our paintings are mirroring something we don’t want to see, so we ‘hate’ them, but someone else will see something different and love them.
II. I continued to work the painting from this awareness of the painting as a mirror for some inner state that I was rejecting or splitting off. Got really gentle with it, and really listened to what it wanted. It was like a therapy session, with the layers that went on feeling like layers I was excavating.
III. In the end, it wanted me to let go of everything but its bones, so I did.
And then it wanted a new day in the form of blue skies and a verdant foundation, so I gave that, too.
I wonder what it will want next. I’m listening.
IV. Something about start over. Something about letting go of the past. Something about shifting focus. Something about softening one’s own jagged edges. Something about liberal applications of self-empathy. Something about the power of looking a thing right in the face and seeing it for what it is.
V. It’s happier today, and while I’m still in a pretty stormy place, I feel less windswept and buffeted by outside forces, ready to let the winds of change be more friend than foe.
VI. What I resist persists.
VII. This is a peek at another ‘working with what is’ painting. This one will go up in Book Of Days for the month of May. It’s a deeply satisfying process that I call ‘net journaling’ or ‘catch and release’. You can still join me in Book Of Days for $99 for the entire year of lessons from me + my guest artists.
VIII. Something about how when people do you wrong, they must make you wrong in order to bypass their own shame. Something about how well I understand that, how much empathy I have for that, but also something about how tired I am of that.
IX. Every morning. “Good morning, love.” Every night. “See you in our dreams.” It’s like a parenthesis on my day – the curve of a smile to begin it. The curve of a smile to end It. Love encompassing everything I come up against, struggle with, endeavour toward, do.
Something about noticing that. Something about the kind of gratitude that brings tears to my eyes. Something about being afraid ‘to get used to it’, but also willing, but also, leaning in to letting it be a thing I get used to without ever taking it for granted.
X. I wish there were some hybrid cross between a cherry tree and a willow so I could have that as a plant ally. Sweetness and flexibility. Medicine for the voice (cherry bark) and for the pain (willow). Roots that draw from deep cool, clear wells. Blossoms that explode in frissons of mind bending beauty. A rooted dancer. Tears and glory.