Thursday, February 26, 2015

my everywhere ...

The rain is turning over to snow and I pause in my day to consider what now?  I've been up for hours tending to those things that each day requires me to tend to  ... making the coffee, emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast, putting a load of laundry in, walking the dog, tidying up the always threatening tower of paperwork that seems to increase even with vows of "paperlessness" ... Are you jealous yet?

Not that I've made much headway as for every paper dropped into the recycling container, I've managed to drag out bulkier odds and ends - tub of paints, pile of fabrics, cards, notebooks, knitting, books - and now here I sit staring at the visible expression of my inner landscape.  I wonder if the earth feels the same way? Heavy and full with all that awaits release, expression, transformation and slightly bogged down by it all?

I realize the beast that stalks me is the notion of something BIG ... my Big Project that keeps to the shadows yet never let's me feel fully at ease.  Even as a child I think I believed there was something Big, something Important I was meant to be doing.  I now wonder if I've been stalking it? Or has it been hounding me? 

I am dabbling with this dangerous thought: what if that something Big (a.k.a. worthy, worthwhile, significant, valuable) isn't some grand beast? What if my Big is actually no one thing, but rather the many little things that make up my day?  What if my Walden Pond or Portrait of the Artist or Starry Night is no one thing, but all these tiny pieces, fleeting moments, slips of paper, images capture, doodles dashed off and scraps of fabric stitched into prayer flags all one giant Big rolled up and held together simply because they are mine? 

Dare I admit an epiphany came while grunting away on the elliptical machine in our basement, watching a recorded episode of Girls?  I guess I dare.  In the episode Hannah, who is in the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop and tormented by the whole experience, is having dinner with her father. She wants to quit and while she wants someone to tell her it is okay to leave, she can't quite buy his advice to do what's right for you.  He then shares with her that her mother once wrote a book and was miserable in the process. But afterwards, she was able to return to doing the things she enjoyed doing. 

Which leads me to consider how I might be rather miserly with myself, parceling out odd moments to the things I love doing or worse, while so engaged looking over my shoulder thinking "Yes, but there is that beast in the corner not so patiently waiting for my attention."  

Not to say I might not one day gather my courage and head into the woods, but right now right here before me are the pieces of my life in all their wonderful chaotic beauty.  I look around me and I see much room for play and joy. I look around me and everywhere this is what I see ...

Dragons.  Dragons asking to be embraced, not slayed.  Dragons help not harm is what my girl often writes on her pictures.  So too the many bits and pieces of my passions, my interests.  They offer me opportunity to build upon happiness.  

So I am learning to see rather than focusing upon the creation of one massive opus, my way is more like japa meditation: each piece of my day, each seemingly haphazard moment of creative play  or engagement is like a prayer whispered over a single bead in a mala necklace. Slowly, mindfully I try to spread my prayers across the beads that make up my days. Eventually, if I stay committed, my life will be held together by all those prayers. And won't that be something massive and love-filled? 


Time for tea and dreams.  What about you?


  1. Lis your words and images have filled my cup today. Thank you my friend <3

  2. I think you have hit the nail on the head Lisa, it can all manifest in the small things that go on during the day - BUT I do not think this is the whole story. I was at the same stage in life and was just about to 'give up' and accept that I had to learn how to be zen and live with nothing more than the creativity of small things, this daily stuff, when something happened that shifted me out of that mode of thinking and my grand opus appeared like out of the blue. I think that we give so much to our children, for such an extended period of time that we forget how to nurture our own creativity sometimes. I was certainly in that place, I think that perhaps I felt 'guilty' doing stuff for myself when the children were around (they are always around, I homeschool) but I read a book by John Holt who says 'get on with what YOU have to do and the children will take inspiration from that' so that is what I have been doing; writing, painting, sewing, all the stuff I needed to do to feed my grand opus and magical things started to happen. I produced a lot of stuff, good stuff and the girls sat down with me and produced their own good stuff too.

  3. Oh, that BIG, wondrous, grand and great thing that I will achieve. I love your idea of lots of small things that are the wondrous. And I admire that you are doing those small things. You create such beauty in the world. I, at this moment, have stopped or am stuck or something unpleasant. There is a shift. It's uncomfortable, but while I am in the midst of it, I can find inspiration here, so thank you! xoxo