After last week's experiment, I'm back in the studio three days a week, working on paintings and playing in my art journal.
Have a lot of thoughts in my head that want to jump onto the paper.
It feels like a releasing ceremony, except here, instead of writing worries on the paper and tossing it into a fire, we write them on the pages of our journals (those secret spaces) and transform them through paint, paper, and imagery. I never knew, all those years ago, what a precious gift this art*full life would be, one held carefully in cupped hands, sacred and light and endlessly deep.
I made it five hours today at the studio. Pushed through frustration and happiness and got down to play. I'm learning to recognize where I'm in my own way and getting ideas where I can make an extra effort or stop being so hard on myself. Sitting down to work on a schedule, having a near-daily practice, helps so much .
A friend going through something has me thinking about the rhythms of our lives, how we need to own our rhythms and speeds and know they are perfect for us . I related a story from college: in culture, race, & media class, we started talking about differently*abled folks (my term, not theirs...though it should change!) and their perspective. I offered up my own, newly-formed from a couple months living in downtown Chicago (where I went to college, btw!).
One thing I'd noticed was that no one slowed down. All around me, people were rushing to get from A to B, on their phones, looking down at their feet -- just rushing about. I'd often have to move to the edges of the sidewalk as I walk slower. I didn't want to at that time, being twenty years old and a college student, and was desperate for a reason to be happy with how my life had changed. Up until then, my FMS had been...around...but hadn't had a huge impact on my life.
(This was also the time in my life when I had my first surgery for other issues.)
But as I eased into this new rhythm of my life, I noticed more. The flowers planted along the sidewalks in a rainbow of colors, the way the sun highlighted the patina of the statues outside the Art Institute, the cooler air coming off Lake Michigan. I can picture those walks perfectly in my memory, even now. The diner where students ate and the Bennigans down the way. My slower pace allowed me to see more beauty, soak up more life, and taught me patience.
For me, five hours in the studio is an accomplishment. When I told a different friend, she reminded me to get home to rest so I could spend more and more time there, painting, experimenting, playing, daydreaming.
Others may be able to put in 8 hours in a studio, or 12, or stay up all night. That's not me. I have a set bed time, I sleep in. I snuggle on my couch and work on the computer each morning. I come home to watch prime-time (and this month, work on my novel for NaNoWriMo!) and curl up and read or play in my sketchbook. Would I like to put in more hours? Yes! Can I? Not really. Am I upset about this? Not at all!
Just makes it that much more my path. And if I can illuminate the beauty in the slow rhythms of life on the way, then I'm doing something right.