Saturday, September 4, 2010
Weekly Reflection (week 34): Uncertainty
I am continuing the intuitive painting process begun in BIG through monthly topics/exercises with Connie of Dirty Foot Prints Studio in Tribe. This month's theme is Balance which I suppose has been the theme of my life! I vividly recall a summer afternoon 25 years ago (gulp!) sitting on my porch reading a book on the painter Raphael as I prepared for a class in Grad school. I was eating an omelet made of fresh veggies, cheese and eggs purchased that morning at the nearby farmer's market, with my book on my lap. It was a moment of sensory delight: the blue skies of summer, the freshness of the food on my plate and the sumptuous color plates of Raphael's paintings. I remember that moment as one where I knew perfect balance. All aspects of my being felt sated.
Over the years, I've tried to duplicate that feeling in my life. Having tasted it once, I continue to seek it out. I also know from practicing balance poses in yoga, that falling out of balance teaches me how to find balance. It is like drawing a form by looking at the negative space around it. I don't know if it is possible or even desirable to live in balance all of the time; but I do feel I am strengthening my skill at recovering myself, finding my center and returning to that place where all aspects of my being feel fulfilled.
So how does this tie in with uncertainty? I'm not sure. But what I've been facing in my intuitive painting is allowing myself to live in uncertainty; letting go of my need to control or understand or predict everything. Painting right now means grabbing my paper, paints and brushes and diving right in. No thought, just instinct, impulse, intuition. What color does my hand reach for? What movement does my hand/wrist/arm ache to do as I hold my brush above the paper? And once I've made a mark, allowing myself to respond to that action without knowing where it is taking me.
Talk about lack of balance! Rather than relying upon my rational mind to guide each stroke towards a preconceived goal - a painting that exists in my mind - I must let go and allow intuition, inklings, reactions to guide me. I must make my peace with uncertainty because I cannot know what may arise after I paint in a particular color, shape or line. I am in dialogue with the painting itself and I cannot predict what it will say next.
It is a wonderful, unnerving, surprising and exhilarating dance with uncertainty. And it pushes me to repeatedly find balance within myself by stepping outside of myself. Or rather, stepping outside my big brain. And I am seeing how unbalanced living with a need for total control can be. What has been emerging as I drift in not knowing is a wonderful zen like experience of knowing. Truths emerge when I allow them the space to be.
So I while I have no idea what I will do next in my painting (she is far from being finished with me), I have been receiving fortune cookie like affirmations in my other artistic endeavors. First there was this page:
Then I was inspired by Lisa of LifeUnity to create an affirmation page:
And finally there is this collage card I made yesterday:
I swear I grabbed the magazine clipping because of the flower in the O complimented the other flowers in the papers. And then I read the text.
Yeah, like I said, a fortune cookie truth.
So uncertainty is leading me into a more graceful, balanced dance with my life. A dance where I do not try to lead and so far, no toes have been stepped on. And I am seeing how this new partner of uncertainty can dance many in forms: creativity, teaching, parenting and spiritual growth.
Embracing uncertainty, I am understanding the value in its practice. It is like the high wire act of being a mother: living every day in a state of awe, vulnerability, intense love, fear and hope and joy.
What is your relationship with Uncertainty?