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. 
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