It's part of life. I cannot remember who said it, but I think it goes something like this: the only thing that remains constant, is change. I am more than okay with this, even though we sometimes come up against what seems like a brick wall, or a bottomless hole, or at least a few bumps in the road. Maybe the road isn't so clear, with jagged forks here and there, and fuzzy, unreadable signs, or those dusty, less-frequented paths, with some questionable and foreboding, dark areas. Who knows what kind of things lay waiting in the shadows? Or maybe it is just one's imagination sabotaging one's progress, creating monsters where there are none?
Monsters, TV, The Inner Critic & Lies
This deserves its own place, and I should know, because I have put up a number of complex rooms over the years for my very own, sordid monsters. The closets just were not big enough. They stay on my comfy couch while I pet and groom them, mostly the kind that show up right after a rejection letter. They feed my inner critic, forcing me to watch mindless tv, although we finally cancelled our cable connection a few months ago. This has changed me in ways that I could not have guessed, and I am surprised at myself, as it brings me a deserved satisfaction to no longer be a slave to all those repetitive, bad shows.
I used to wonder what people did before TV, me in my brainwashed-tv-head since I was 5 years old. It's harder to imagine when one starts so young, but thinking of kids today, they have so much more to give up with all the sophisticated, electronic-eye-candy saturating their little, zombie-like minds. One can only guess where all this is going, but I'd say it's the familiar feeding of monsters.
But getting back to that inner critic, that judging crone who tells me I am just not good enough, that I'm too old, that I will not succeed because I am woman, that I don't have enough education and/or enough exhibitions on my resume, that my art is just not hip, sexy, or edgy enough, that it's just too late, and that no one will ever care about what I do anyway. This list could be endless, but these are some of the lies I hear, similar to what many of us hear, instead of looking at what we can and have actually accomplished and what really brings us joy. Sadly, this is where some of us even give up.
I often seem to avoid facing the very thing I need most, but know I must instigate change and take the risks to develop new work. It can feel like I am out on a fragile limb to start anew, but it is also exciting, like shaking myself awake. It truly is the very nature of creating, to explore the unknown, and for me, inspired by not knowing what will come. Nothing great comes without some stumbling along the way... you just have to be willing to stumble.
After some frustrating weeks of exploring a new approach on paper, it was painfully clear that something wasn't quite fitting what I wanted to communicate. I often have dreams that bring deep messages to me, mostly in a visual way. I ask for help before I fall asleep, and if I remember what I dreamed, ideas are spun, some so vivid, it's like a sign being held in front of my face. The very next morning I was on it with a fresh, enlivened energy.
There is this ancient, soothing voice in my head that tells me to keep taking the necessary steps, to enjoy what I do, to practice diligently, and know in my heart that it is and always was only about the journey. I am not sure how this new work will be received, but I know I must let go of any attachments, and most of all, to ignore the inner critic's decaying comments.
It is about trusting the process, about trusting myself, allowing the flow of energy, and giving myself the patience necessary to grow. I am grateful to know this, and willing it oh-so-close to my artist's heart.