Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Turn-around time.

I am glad to finally be really and truly out from under the black cloud that has been following me since this past January. I like to think of myself as resilient and optimistic, but the details of life have surely challenged this notion. It is a relief to finally be feeling a sense of hope and inspiration on a much more even plane--not just the stops and starts I was temporarily experiencing before.

At the moment, there is a pile of dogs at my feet. They are sharing a bone--each chewing on an end in a Zen-like snuggle. For real, where did I find such generous, gorgeous beings? So much love seems absurd and, yet, there they are laying on the floor next to me. I like the little sounds they make. They make my world feel grounded and real and complete.

Earlier today, while on our morning walk, I turned left where I normally turn right. The path took us into the woods, a place where I rarely go since adopting 2 more dogs (after all, walking 3 dogs takes considerable concentration). It felt good. Actually, it felt more than good. Having been a long time since my last visit to that wild part of the world, it felt new and unexplored. Down a trail deeper in the park, we came across enormous oak trees that had fallen in a storm and were being cut up. A bramble of fallen logs and dead fall--the spongy wet smell of freshly sawed wood was intoxicating to the dogs and myself, alike. So intoxicating that I went flying and stubbed my flip-flopped toe good. The result was bright red blood and the most concerned look from my babe, Ella, that I've ever seen. Happiness was tested: felt more love than hurt and reveled at the loveliness of the morning, despite my newly acquired hobble.

I sit here drinking a cup of freshly brewed Columbian coffee--oh, such a dusty, sweet, earthy flavor (yum!)--getting ready to take on another day. Yesterday I started a new series of paintings that feel delicious and different. I am working on sponsorship packages to pay for several thousand dollars of marketing and event costs for an upcoming exhibition. I am feeling audacious. I am feeling hopeful. I am feeling like I have something to give in return.

Finally, once again, I fit my own skin.

Who knew that these past several months would mess me up so thoroughly? Who knew it would take so long to get from one side to the other? Granted, I'm not expecting life to get "easy." After all, like usual, I've bitten off almost more than I can chew. But something tells me that I'm headed in the right direction.

There are two phrases that keep repeating themselves in my head. The first are Obama's words: "The audacity of hope." The second is: "Never give up."

Here's the deal: There is nothing about my situation that is deserving of audacity or hope. There is nothing about my situation that guarantees that persistence will ever get me anywhere. I'm broke. My bank account is dangerously close to $0. The economy is in shambles. I work out of a studio in my basement. I have no idea if anything I ever do will ever amount to anything.

And YET...I feel HOPE. There is a sense of fearlessness that outweighs my fears--maybe just barely, but barely is just enough. Bare amounts of fearlessness is enough to push past the discomfort. It is just enough to instigate bravery. It amazes me how easy it is to slip into complacency. It's easier to simply do whatever is on the to-do list than it is to stretch beyond our own self-made boxes. But that is where hope lives. It lives in the what's-just-outside-of-what-we-already-know.

Anyway, these days I am striving to paint things in ways that I am inspired to paint them. I am inspired by 6 foot paintings and 6 inch paintings. I am reawakened by the extremes and comforted by the soft breeze that blows through an open window. I am inspired by my friends. I am inspired by what I do not yet know.

Life is moving on. Sometimes the turn-around time just takes patience.

Message for the day: NEVER GIVE UP.



donna said...

Hey, you paint gorgeous pictures and you have a huge amount of heart and love and it shows in your work. That's worth way more than money. And you have a pile of fuzzy critters that love you.

Although eating is nice, too.

Rowena said...

Hey, I'm glad you're feeling the hope, because I see so much synchronicity around, and if you can see hope in your literal basement, then maybe I can get some hope over here in my figurative basement.

It's time. I'm tired of everything being so stressful. So hard. But more than that, I don't mind the hard and stressful if I can get the hope that something is moving.

Three cheers to the audacity of hop.

Barbara said...

Hey, I, too, 'work' (work that is really play) out of my basement:) Lots of great, cool stuff down there ... great place to rock 'n roll ... when I was little we had such a great basement that I used it as a roller rink! Honest:) So glad you're feeling more like you.

Lily said...

You really brighten up my day.

Olivia said...

Jessie, I want to encourage you to keep on going, just as you are.

You know at almost 52 years old, one regret I have is that I did not stick with what I loved, but that I worked for money for so many years. You have found what you love while you are young and are thus very blessed; you just have to keep going. So many people quit because it is so hard to follow your dream---there are ups and downs and it is definitely the path "less traveled by".

But in years to come you won't be sorry, no matter what the outcome.

Other older commenters will, I think, agree with me.

I miss your blog and love reading what you write when you post.

Keep going, my dear!



kj said...

oh jessie oh jessie oh jessie...

honest to god i needed this. at just this time.

i stay tied to the past, where there is loss and confusion. your post is fuel to push forward. right now. do you see me? i'm coming up behind you...


GreenishLady said...

Oh... I needed that message today - in the week where my computer cracked up, my car died, and I've heard I may not have my beloved job come September! Ok... I won't be giving up, then! Thank you. Your perspective is so valuable to me.

teabird said...

I needed to read this, too - it's so hard to see through the darkness or even to believe there's hope out there. It's so good to read about a voyage out.

Sharon said...

Being almost 60 yrs of age, I agree with what Olivia said. You are blessed to be doing what you love at a young age.

You are an inspiration to me, and I love your posts. Keep the faith! :)