“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
—Carl Gustav Jung
Another day, another year, another life.
Yesterday was the last day of my thirties. I have now spent forty years being me, growing into my skin and becoming myself.
But this past year has been truly life-changing.
It has easily been one of the most tumultuous, most significant, most rewarding years of my life – and that’s saying a lot. I’ve fallen, broken down, picked myself up, stumbled, crashed, torn myself apart, patched myself together, burned up, risen from the ashes…and here I stand, old and improved.
It’s been profound.
Now I face another year on this Earth, and it will no doubt be equally life-altering – albeit in different ways. Big things are happening and big things are being planned. The channges I’ve made within myself, in my life, and to my creative work was just the beginning.
I’m still working hard to build myself up again.
And I’m still struggling to find that balance – the balance between art, life, and sanity.
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo
Six months ago today, I started on a personal journey.
The ride since then has been wild and shaky and bumpy, but now things seems to have settled and I am back where I started – only stronger, wiser and better than ever before.
I have come full circle.
The track is laid out before me and I am sure of where I am going – both personally and professionally – for the first time in years.
Now the next stretch of this journey awaits.
Things will likely stay hectic and wild and bumpy. They always do, in life – nothing ever goes according to plan. But this time around at least there is a map of sorts to follow.
All of the major crossroads are behind me, for now.
That’s not to say the journey ahead is fully mapped out by any means – there will be choices and uncertainties, surprises and conundrums. But this train is going places! I’m back on track, full of motivation, stoking the engine.
“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” ―Alexis Carrel
The ball is rolling again.
I had forgotten the amount of work needed besides the actual creative process – editing, formatting, finding places to submit to, planning, preparing, talking with clients, purchasing materials, etc, etc. The other day I just barely managed to make it on time to my day job because I got stuck preparing a commissioned work.
This week has finally seen a restart of my creative work, though – mostly, I’ve been organisingand picking up resting projects to see what I can make of them. I have been planning for future projects, restocked some supplies, and I made some connections.
That’s the good news.
The bad is that it seems my artistry is veering off my planned course, so that instead of finally kicking off the projects I have been looking forward to I find myself staring down a path filled with entirely new projects. Soul searching and restarting one’s inner life can have that effect, I guess.
Either way though, I’m back in the game.
My biggest challenge now is to manage my days so i can set aside the time i need to keep this ball rolling and still be able to work on myself.
Wish me luck, Dear Reader – or better yet: wish me discipline!
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.” ―Adm. William H McRaven
Dear Reader – have you ever considered the impossible entity that is us?
The complex web of human interaction stretching across this globe in order to make the modern world go ’round? How every day, millions upon millions of humans are working toward one single goal; for one single purpose? From the ranch hand in Kansas to the miner in China to the broker in Tokyo – every one, connected.
We are interdependent yet truly replaceable cells in the neural network that makes up mankind.
We all have a purpose and a role to play – every uttered word, every shaken hand, every loving touch is a signal in the network, holding us together as one.
Now, imagine every person as a glowing point on the globe.
Imagine every interaction between those people as a lingering thread of light connecting them. Imagine the incomprehensible series of such threads – events and interactions – that created the device you read this on, the surface you sit on, the clothes on your back, you. How many lives have worked in concert to create everything within arm’s reach; to bring it you, here, now? Thousands? Millions?
Through your mere existence here and now you are connected to all of them, Dear Reader.
Some of those threads have gone unbroken through centuries, bringing you the music of Bach and the ideas of Aristotle. Others have been twisted and turned and spliced together over the years to create new things out of old ideas.
Take a moment now and visualize that web.
It spans not only the globe but the years: a living, moving, pulsating oneness connecting every living human being, now as well as then. And into the future. Ideas travel along the web, taking shape and multiplying, and bit by bit they are realized and created. A computer wouldn’t exist without the technicians, designers and manufacturers who create it; wouldn’t be created without the prospectors, miners, and refiners who gather and create the materials – and if not for the entrepreneurs, investors and businessmen who run the companies there would be no one to pay for it all. Then there’s the transporters, advertisers, sales people, and so on and so forth.
No single person in the web is more important than any other, really.
If one falls, another will take it’s place – or the chain will be broken – and every link on the chain is in turn supported by other people. Family, friends, co-workers, doctors, teachers, role models – they all connect to make us who we are and place us in our unique spot in the network.
We are Legion, for we are Many.
We all rest on the sum of all history and we all support the creation of the future. We all have power to connect, inspire, create, influence, instigate and change people around us – even if the effect is ever so small to begin with, it can end up determining the fate of the world. We can never know in advance what our tiny action today will lead to in the long run: a kind word, a helping hand, an inspiring art work, a comforting touch – that single action might start or re-start a chain of events that changes a life, and by extension the world. Every single thing we do or contribute to carries with it the weight of all that has led up to this moment. Every thing we do, every minute interaction with another, counts.
“Nothing in life is worth turning your back on, if you love it.” —Albert Camus
I am back, Dear Reader – or so I hope, at least.
Things are settling down and the determination and creativity is creeping back into my skull, demanding attention. I haven’t created anything worth while for a long time now, but ideas are forming and inspiration is rising in my soul again. All that remains now is the discipline and hard work. Not an easy task, for me, but I need to create or else I go insane and self destructive.
So, here I am, returning to the blog and to the creation of my online platform.
I’m going to start light and try to get into a routine again, so bear with me if things go slow. The important thing is that I am here again, I hope.
“There is no life without love. None worth having, anyway.”
Dear Reader, I have been neglecting you.
It was my intention to work through my back log and resume a regular posting schedule, but – as seems to be the ever-present case for me – life has happened. Again.
This time, though, it is a good thing.
Suffice to say, I’ve grown much closer to someone already dear to me and everything else has had to be put on hold, temporarily. This is one of the most important changes I’ve seen for awhile, and though it has created a burst of inspiration for me, time and tide wait for no man.
With new priorities come new routines.
I’m just at the beginning of restructuring my daily life now – things will likely be chaotic for as while – but I am confident things will change for the better.
An entirely new volume of my story has just begun – the past year of blogging has seen the prologue of that.
Read – Jane Eyre; Charlotte Brontë
Watch – The Human Stain; Robert Benton
Listen – From the Ashes; Martina McBride
“Don’t be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.” – Richard Bach
It’s remarkable how intimately our sense of smell is linked to our memories.
The other morning on the bus into town I sat engaged at reading, silently enjoying that pale golden shade of sun you only see in early spring or late autumn, when a young woman sat down next to me. As the scent of her perfume filled my nostrils, my mind filled with memories.
Sixteen years ago almost to the day, the sun coming through her windows had the exact same silvery-golden quality and my nose was filled with that exact same scent. It was the first night we had spent together and I had not yet fallen in love. As I lay there drowsily admiring her sleeping form, trying to decide if I should hold on to the moment or if I should wake her with a kiss and a hope of repeating the events of the night before, her eyes fluttered open and she smiled. We kissed. It was every bit as full of sparks as our first kiss had been, some seven hours earlier.
A few weeks later she told me that she loved me. I watched her sitting by the window in the light of the spring sun, eating muesli mashed together with banana. I felt proud and guilty at the same time, wondering if I could ever feel the same way about her. Later on, we kissed in public for the first time – a big step for a woman not overly fond of public displays of affection.
A few months more and we had slept together for the last time – though neither of us really knew it at the time. I was in love, but knew we had an expiration date. Ours was an entanglement of poetry, flowers, art and breaking rules. It was not meant to last. Having never really been together, we never really had to break up. There was no last goodbye – not even when she moved away, not even when we spoke a few years later, and all the memories I have of her are happy.
The first time I smelled her scent on another was on a crowded city street. All of a sudden my body was alight with passion and I was back in her sun-lit bed, her body pressed so close to mine it almost hurt. I’m back there every time it reaches me, her scent from the past.
I cannot for the life of me recall what scent it is and I’m afraid to ask. I fear the magic will be ruined if I know.
”Art is confession; art is the secret told. But art is not only the desire to tell one’s secret; it is the desire to tell it and hide it at the same time.” —Thornton Wilder
…and here it is, Dear Reader, my secret told and hidden:
It’s just a quick sketch; a sloppy doodle.
Yet it holds among its scribbled lines and smudges the entirety of my being at this present time – several layers of meaning and significance – my soul laid bare on paper and screen for all to see and few to understand. But that’s okay.
During my little mini-vacation from on here last week I had a few personal revelations.
I came face to face with things inside myself and I have since begun to sort through and deal with things in my past and in my present so that I can more accurately plan for the future. Now, if only that was at easy to do as it is to type…but change is rarely easy. Not even when it is sorely needed.
My artistic ambitions for this year and this blog still stand, though.
I will keep making an effort to stick to the word count, image production, and professional goals that I made a month ago – even when it is hard. And it is.
But enough about my personal struggles!
The falling angel above will hopefully mark the transition from the personal to the professional sphere on this page. I’m sure some personal issues will appear – the page is about me, after all – but with a bit of effort I will hopefully be able to provide more interesting topics as well.