Sunday, December 15, 2013

That which does not kill us

2013 is quickly coming to an end, and while much of my thoughts and experiences have happened outside this blog, know that this year has absolutely been the most difficult, most painful, and most transforming of my life.  Everything about this life of mine that I held in faith came crashing down, covered in ash.  But I learned that, as cliche as it is, patience and time are excellent healers and teachers, and being open and vulnerable and willing to dive into this change has allowed me to move more quickly through pain and heartbreak than I would have if I had resisted and fought.

Childbirth and running have both taught me that relaxing muscles that aren't being directly used can focus energy on the muscles that are doing the most work, and one can move faster and longer and more efficiently than expending energy on non-essential areas.  So these are the lessons on which I've leaned and from which I've learned this year, focusing solely on the priorities-- my children's well being, income to support myself and my children, and perhaps most importantly, my own body and mind to support my income, myself, and my children-- and letting other things fade to the background.

And that has reflected in a significant decrease in artistic and business productivity this year as compared to last, but because my art is who I am, and who I am is my art, my productivity has merely slowed, not died.  Because I AM ALIVE.  I'm back in the classroom, focusing on the creative development of some pretty great children.  I have a lot more on my plate than ever before, and it's hard, and there are many nights that I wonder if I can go on.  But I'm still painting.  And I'm still painting.  And I'm still painting.  I've been working on a series of paintings about this year that have pulled me through some of my toughest moments, let me feel again, let me cry, and let me heal.  This is what the arts do.  The arts make us remember we are human, and powerful beyond measure.

In six months my work will hang in my first art center solo show at ArtSpace Herndon.  What other amazing things will be happening in six months?  I find myself spreading my fingers and lifting them high to touch the tiniest bare branch against the clear blue sky, and I know whatever happens, I am surrounded by love.

I can't wait for 2014.

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