All this leads up to a meeting I had with my core values this week and once I understood that I was down and depressed because I was no longer operating out of my core values, everything shifted....I felt lighter and back in my own skin, in a strange way. The tipping point was the realization that I was chasing after a job, any job, even one that could possibly take me farther away from myself, just to have a paycheck coming in. My aspirations and values to surround myself with people and environments which will help me grow and learn and be in line with the kind of life and lifestyle I want to lead, somehow were no longer at the forefront.....I could tell I was afraid that I might get myself in a situation in which I'd be miserable, just trading anxiety about money into some other kind of misery. But, it unfolded a little further as, at the same time, I understood that my own artistic practice had strayed from the values I hold dear. Where I value a process that is slow, one that builds over time, layered with history and meaning, I had been in a sort of production mode, short circuiting all my values for the "marketplace". Not only was the "marketplace" mode not working (hence the need for a job!), it wasn't as satisfying to me as it might be for others....I had somehow lost my trust in those long held values I'd been carrying for a long time. All those realizations happened in an instant as I tried to focus in my whole body as to what in the world was wrong with my world....and I must say, although nothing on the outside changed, everything in my world felt immediately okay. A shift....here's how I can say it the most simply. Perhaps now, as I've slowed down to enjoy the process of making, I am aspiring to sell the work that I make (translate: find loving homes) rather than making the work to sell. It's huge....that difference is huge and it requires a great deal of trust.....but it makes me happy and I feel more in line with my values. You might guess that I don't have any new finished pieces to show you....but here are a couple works in progress. Lots of stitching on handmade paper dipped in beeswax....so satisfying.
There's a long way to go on both these pieces, but that's okay.....it's the way I used to work! I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, our balmy winter weather has disappeared for a few days. Although we didn't get the snow many folks did, it got mighty cold and now we've returned to a usual winter scene (minus snow on the ground) of ice flowing down the river, which is really quite lovely! The bald eagles are visible most days, fishing over the water, perching in the trees behind the house....beautiful!
Once the flood waters receded early in the fall, we were left with a HUGE sandbar the size of a small island....perhaps it will become a favorite place for birds to hang out....eventually, I suppose the river will claim all that sand once again.
Enjoy your weekend! And thanks so much for listening!