Saturday, November 26, 2011
gratitude and goats
I've never been able to keep a gratitude journal, not that I don't love the concept of one. I'd like to believe years of attempting mindfulness have made me sensitive to recognizing those moments when my attitude should be deep appreciation and thanks.
The Thanksgiving holiday naturally brought about a questioning: What gifts have I overlooked? For what - or whom - am I overdue in giving thanks to for impacting my life in a positive way?
A little over two and a half years ago, I created this image for Susannah Conway's Unravelling: Ways of Seeing Myself:
At the time I had just ventured back into this dream world of creative exploration and expression and I felt very alone in my immediate community. I feel very tender towards that me of not-so-long-ago. I wanted a friend to join me in my escapades, to share my dreams and fears, leaps of daring, skinned knees and bruised ego. I didn't know how I would ever find anyone who would really get me.
I sit here and pinch myself for this Lucy hasn't just found an Ethel - I have a whole tribe of Ethels! And if you are reading this, then you are in that tribe.
I once read that what we all crave is to be loved and to feel understood. If we are loved but not understood, then we doubt that love. If I am grateful for anything in my life, it is the fact that I am so deeply seen and understood by this community of creatives I am fortunate to know in the flesh and here, "in the matrix."
I am grateful for all of you who fearlessly share the experience of your life in written and visual forms for it inspires me to pick up my brush, pen or camera and capture my world.
I was talking with one of you about this Brave New World of creating for personal fulfillment and how it is so hard for people to wrap their minds around this concept of creating just to create. In our consumer driven world, it is consider just plain odd not to be actively engaged in trying to sell something. But what I think is even more threatening is the notion of putting oneself first; daring to say "my needs and happiness matter" when the work ethic we've been taught to embrace is do do do and one day you will be rewarded for your efforts.
I ask: who is going to reward me if not myself? Not that I am advocating blatant disregard for the care of others and the responsibility to give of ourselves for the betterment of our community, our world. But how often do we deny ourselves the small gift of time and attention to cultivate our dreams? How often do we put off to tomorrow doing what our hearts yearn for today?
And now I've wandered down an unexpected alley when my intention was simple to say thank you. Thank you moon, thank you stars, thank you geese on Thanksgiving day,
thank you poppies,
thank you Tooth Fairy,
thank you goats,
thank you Cowgirl,
thank you kitten (whom we can't take home but oh-how-we-wanted-to),
thank you to my family who embrace Cowgirl with all their love,
thank you Moose dog,
Thank you everyone and everything that brightens this world. A humble but heartfelt thank you.
And a special thank you to The Husband who watches me paint goat after goat and never question "why?" (He too knows and loves me.)
I am also grateful for the opportunity to share my "out there" thoughts over on the blog of the always inspiring Jen Lee. She is birthing some amazing projects which have supported me in believing there is a place for my perspective, my voice in this world. Goats and all.