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Friday, February 25, 2011
Reflecting on Loss, Joy and Creativity
Loss. I miss painting. (And collage, and crochet, and cooking, and lots of other hands on activities that are just beyond my energy level to enjoy right now…the prep…the eye-hand coordination that is unbelievably frustrating because my eyes now move at slightly different speeds…the clean up…the fatigue that can only be understood by others who live with it day in and out). But still, there seem to be paintbrushes all over the house, dwelling in cups near every sink. It is good to see them there, my old friends, something familiar from my life “before” the big changes that have required gentle surrender to what is true and realistic for me now. And while I miss creating with my hands the way I used to, my heart is glad, knowing my old brushes are still loved and played with. Rosie's hands are never ever idle. Her affinity for bright colors and her creative spirit keep the vibrant life flow of art making alive in this old house of ours.
My creative flow has just turned a bend... creeks, streams, rivers, do that. I write nearly every day now. I haven’t written this much in…. ok, ever. I witness the world through my little Kodak Easy Share and discover light and shadow, form, movement and stillness right outside the windows of my home. I have always been a keen observer of the world around me, but the physical limitations I live within due to MS offer an opportunity to really slow down, pay attention and fine tune my skills in seeing and being with what is present moment by moment. A gift I treasure.
I am learning daily to weave the images between the words or to allow them to awaken ideas. This is a whole new way of playing, praying, and opening to joy as an artist for me. Clearly "the artist" has not left the building-this body. I am still a vibrant resident, but my medium has shifted. I’m a blog artist... a photographer... a writer... a butterfly with iridescent wings that reflect the situation I find myself in moment by moment.
I find that it takes tremendous creativity to constantly re-frame the way I see myself in relation to the world as I navigate my inner lifeboat through the waters of my ever-changing body. NOT to mention the ingenuity that is continuously called upon in every conversation with a teenager (or two teenagers); there’s a lot of imaginative negotiating that goes on in these shifting relationships too! And then there is helping Gordon to figure out ways to integrate everyone’s schedules with his, as the sole driver, and primary caretaker of the household.
I am creative each week as I develop an “invitation” and a guided meditation for the Khanti Healing Circle at Dharma Sister’s Circle. I’m creative when I engage with a client in a coaching call. I am really creative when I worry about stuff! (Aren’t we all?) Oh the stories I can invent inside my mind, wow! (Perhaps I am an undiscovered screenwriter or movie producer… I write from direct experience here on my blog, but my imagination is full of fantasy: “what if…” “If only…” “Yeah, but…”
And so, yes there is loss. There is joy. There is a discovery of a vibrant part of my being I had not explored before MS slowed my life down. It is difficult and wonderful these are the both/and's of living.
I was looking through old posts and found I had written what is below as part of this back in October of 2009 (before I changed my blog title to Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice):
I feel content in knowing that re-visioning what it means to live in my altered body with courage, compassion and dignity is actualizing the original intention of this blog "Creativity as a Spiritual Practice," in a way I never imagined! Imperfection is truly an opening to worlds of possibility. It is surely a doorway to creativity that unfolds as a spiritual practice.
I'm still the same me, with similar thoughts, though I know I've grown and evolved since I wrote that post...and I have so much more to learn.