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I continue to work on staying present in my life and in my art. This sometimes makes it challenging to take a moment and write about what all is going on. Living in the moment is one thing. Writing about living in the moment sort of skews time a bit and takes one out of the moment. That said, Life (with a capital "L") continues to be about not slipping into despair or neurosis in the wake of my husbands death. This is below the surface of what I present to the world most of the time. Most of the time, I simply look busy, or relaxed, or greiving, or I don't know, "Ok." At least that's what I hear. Within there are thunderstorms and whipping winds and torrential rains and waves crashing against rocks and washing away sands. And in the center of it all is the tiny house of me. Wondering and waiting. Hatches battened. Keeping up with the leaks as fast as I can. Dancing to maintain every critical evidence of security if not stability.

 

There you are, here I am.

 

In the meantime, I do create art. It continues to be the best caulking to seal up the leaks, so to speak. It repairs me as nothing else can. But too, it also breaks me open. In any given moment, I cannot know which it will be. Repair or breaking open. Yet I do it. Why?

Simply put, I can't not. Making art is like breathing. And just because my ribs are bruised and my body feels wracked (and my world rocked) in the wake of my love's suicide, I cannot stop breathing. Infact, breathing is what will keep me alive, though it will hurt for a while and perhaps from time-to-time for the rest of my life.

 

Hard is a four letter word, I've learned (thank you Roberta) to use the word "Challenging." Art is extremely challenging at times. It turns me inside out. And sometimes what's inside is pretty messy, pretty rough and scary, painful and dark. And turning it to the outside makes me feel very raw.

 

Right now I am working on a commission. A prayer flag with the theme and intention, "Joy." Ironic? Challenging? Yup. It is taking me twice as long to complete this flag than I'd estimated. It has challenged me to go inside and search the halls and rooms of myself with a flashlight, looking for joy. It's there but it is extremely skitish right now. Like a feral cat, it hides from the any attempt to capture it. I have to act as if I am just going about my life and pay attention to when joy creeps out from some corner and brushes up against me. It has been a complex journey. I've never taken so many stitches out of a flag as I have with this one. I've never gotten nearly finished and wondered if I should start all over again only to see that, no, this one is unexpected; but it is perfectly complexly joyful. 

 

I will post a photo when the patron has seen it. Give me a couple weeks...