Thursday, April 1, 2010

Imagining Myself Back to Life

When creative passion packs its bags and walks out of my life due to lack of nurturing, it takes some work to coax it back home.  Late last year, my artistic self seemingly left in a huff, tired of being neglected, of being pushed aside by all the attention-demanding health issues and general lack of forward momentum.  Once my "mojo" went on vacation, it seemed like it would never return.  I was slow to realize that in truth, my passion hadn't really left but instead, had gone into deep stasis.  It was waiting for there to be room, not only for its mere existence, but for its joyous flourishing, expanding, searching.  It took me a while to recognize my muse, waiting patiently on the fringes of my consciousness but once I knew She had not abandoned me, I slowly set about preparing a space in my mind for Her return.

I was so fatigued and in so much pain that even sitting upright was exhausting.  So I slept - a lot - trying to stockpile energy for those basic functions of day-to-day living.  But when I laid down to nap or when I turned into my bed in the evening, I would decide upon a subject to ponder: how to translate a particular idea into a journal page, how to solve an attachment issue on canvas, how to express a certain emotion visually and so on.  Then I would snuggle deep into the flannel covers and imagine myself in the studio, setting out the supplies, brainstorming options, weighing the possibilities and solving the problem.  In reality, I went several weeks without a single artistic action, but in my mind, I worked for hours, slinging poetry and paint with abandon.  If I didn't want to tackle a specific issue, I would simply lay there in the dark and try to imagine all the colors I owned of a particular supply, turning the palette over in my mind, keeping my sense of color alive amid day after day of grey.

Then, one day, I just knew I was ready.  The muse had gone from the fetal postion to anxiously hopping about, eager to fuel a little bit of creative fire.  But I didn't aim too high.  I didn't hand the muse Her orders and try to crank out something off my massive to-do list.  Instead, I just let Her play.  She was very tentative and out-of-practice at first and, as I was/am still coping with a variety of physical obstacles, my muse was easily drained of energy.  Everything I did had to be really simple and free of expectation.  At this point in time, some days are better than others but I continue to progress.  My muse is happily reconstructing her fortress in my head, painting the walls in colors just as brilliant as I had imagined them.  The magic is back. 


  1. You are right, the creative energy never leaves us, and it can lie dormant for many years. Waking it up can be a slow process, you need to take a few metaphorical stretches and breath in the dawn air...

  2. The Spirit of Creation is deep within, Michelle, and can never leave. It is always patient, and always alive and well. It will always wait for its voice to be heard and takes on many forms. You cannot abandon her, and she cannot abandon you - for you are one. Hugs, Terri xoxo

  3. Michelle, you own your muse, and it will never leave. Often times I feel guilty for not ALWAYS creating, when in reality I NEED to do other things as well in my life, for growth , as well as well being. As i posted today on my blog, you either get it, or you don't, and we all know you will always have it. I hope you new renewed being continues now to take you to even more fabulous places! Hugs!

  4. So glad to hear you are gaining strength and momentum, Michelle! Take care of yourself and don't overdo. Take care,

  5. I found your blog and absolutely love your art.
    I am glad you are getting back to muse decided that she needed a getaway...and left me in a funk...neglect or overload...not sure of which one was the reason for her departure..
    I'm your newest follower and can't wait to see more of your creations.
    Your blog is so very inspiring.


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