I've been missing something since the eleventh day of December, the date of my last post. That was the day I began missing out on sitting down and writing something every day. The holidays and houseguests were full and wonderful, but something was missing. The thing I can liken it to, is my years of living in a northern climate where I could not garden all winter long. I continually felt as though an important part of myself was hibernating somewhere. That's the way the past month has been for me. There's been a yearning, like a little alarm going off in the back of my mind, "come back, sit down !". There's a music alarm that repeats early each morning with the time I should be sitting down to write. I have become so acutely aware of how important discipline is to any creative process, but now it seems more important as I grow older.
About eight years ago I set up a Blog that was just for my children. I called it "Mom's life lessons learned". That, as most of my writing endeavors have been over my adult life, was never completed. I started, stopped and quit. This TOWANDATUDE Blog adventure that I began last April has been just that, an adventure. It's been a learning experience. I've shared some memories and emotions, and I've come to know some amazing women of all ages, from young adventurous ladies just beginning their journey to eighty plus year old women, who have shared their stories with me. I have been in awe of all of you, and inspired. I have also revisited some lessons I thought I had learned long ago, but as with most lessons in life, we experience them again and again like an onion peel in a new and different way.
I learned a lesson long ago when I was involved in the creative arts arena in my Pennsylvania and Hawaii life.When people allow you to view their artistic expression, whatever medium that may be, it's a bearing of their soul, a view inside their delicate self. They take a risk of how you will receive them.We must be so careful with our words and how we respond to these expressions. We have the power to build up and to tear down with our words. When I taught classes back in those days, I saw this so clearly that it frightened me of the delicate balance that my words held. I held the power to encourage or dash to smithereens their precious expression. I was overwhelmed with the privilege of viewing what seemed to be a sacred thing.
Fortunately for me, I had some incredible mentors in that season of my life, who taught by their extraordinary examples of leadership. My friend Lynne P. lead me through countless training and my (then) Pastor, Marcia S. gave me an apprenticeship in her Worship & Fine Arts office. Those women delivered me into the waiting arms of Rick & Judy Sorum in Hawaii, who extended so much trust to me with their students. It was in the arms of these individuals that I saw how delicate we humans are with our efforts to express ourselves. I left that life seventeen years ago, when my world took a U turn and I came back to Florida. Now with this blog I set out on a new creative endeavor. I won't lie to you, I've shed some tears a few times, that things haven't gone exactly as I'd hoped. But that's just my expectations presumed upon others, which at this point in the picture of life, I should know better about ! I've always wanted to possess that attitude of "who cares what they think?" but truth be told, none of us really mean that all the way through. I'm getting better though, and here's why...
I LOVE THIS. I love this little blog! I love getting up early in the morning and writing my "Morning Pages" and sometimes seeing it come together in a story form for the Blog. I have a love-hate relationship with trying to learn how to navigate this website to send out these posts. I love sharing my pictures and my "Mom's Life Lessons Learned" under this TOWANDATUDE site with you. I love sharing my thoughts about what things feel like at this era of empty nests and hot flashes, it's good to know there are others out there sharing similar emotions. I love the challenge of "Writing Prompts" from writing groups I frequent online. I've missed it over the last month! Some friends from my past have joined with me and supported this adventure. It's been so lovely to have them back in my life, even though they are so far away, and I've made some new friends too, along the way.
Author Steven Pressfield asked readers in his book "THE WAR OF ART", if you knew that when you woke up in the morning you would be the last person on earth, what would be the one thing you would still get up and do, knowing that no one else would see it ? (forgive me for paraphrasing terribly S.P.) I knew instantly that I would still get up and write and garden, I answered without hesitation. That tells me that even if no one else goes with me, I'm still going forward, because this brings life to me. What about you ? What would be that thing you would do even if no one ever witnessed it ? It's a great question to ask ourselves isn't it ?
So, for this NEW YEAR, I will not subject myself to life without some form of artistic expression. I hope to continue to grow and evolve, expanding my ability and knowledge of this craft. My wish for you is that you will find a path that leads to your creative adventure. I wish too that you would share it with me, so that I can follow your journey. Many, many, blessings reader friend and Happy New Year !