Tag Archives: Purpose

I’m A Fish Out Of Water

I’m a lot of things really—daughter, sister, lover, wife, mother and grandmother, all roles defined by my relationship to others.

I’ve held many jobs, in service and professional industries, paid and unpaid.

I am a writer. I manifested that for myself. I know it to be true, because I write something every day, because I have been published in many forms for more than 30 years now, because my first novel was published last year.

I’m also a dabbler in the arts. I long to manifest beauty from the tips of my fingers. This yearning existed before any notion of being a writer seized me. One day a week, I gather with others at the studio of a friend, where we draw and paint in companionship. I take real life and online classes, and watch endless instruction videos on Youtube. I have my own studio, and while I don’t make art every day, I’ve none-the-less made a lot of art.

I never call myself an artist. I think because so much of the art I create does not satisfy my eye. On the other hand, I believe that most of what I write (published or not) shines. My writing is often praised. I neglected to mention up top that I am also a praise junkie; I thrive on the words of others telling me I’ve done a good job.

But I’ve received praise for my art, and sold pieces without that ever being the intent. Why then do I resist identifying as an artist?

This early face was painted with craft grade acrylic, eye makeup pencils and chalk. I didn’t even know what mixed media was then. I thought this painting was amateurish, like something out of a coloring book. Somebody bought it. Now several years into taking online classes and watching hundreds of instruction videos on Youtube, I’m struggling to find my own style while emulating techniques and stylistic features of other artists. When I look at this face that so effortlessly flowed from my mind, heart and hands I have to wonder if I haven’t suffocated it.

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A mixed media collage—again before the countless hours of online instruction. Again, it sold quickly. Again, I was surprised by that.

too-soon-september

These little fishes were sent off to the 2013 ROCO 6×6 show (#2447) if you care to find it there). I was once again surprised when I found out that somebody forked over a small bit of cash to take my fishes home.

3 Fishies

I don’t remember when I finally started identifying as a writer. I don’t recall what self defined criteria for validation I finally met. I’m not even sure why I have a desire to believe I am an artist. What difference would it make?

Isn’t it enough that I enjoy the process?

 

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Happiness Is Wanting What You Have

Somebody said that. I don’t know who, or if they were important or well known. Whoever it was also added that happiness is not having what you want.

Fifteen years ago I was meandering around the interwebs looking for things. I wasn’t sure what things, but things that would fulfill me, fill me. I’d know when I found it.

I found SoulCollage®. I knew I wanted it, or rather, wanted to learn how to create the telling cards and use the system of self discovery that was going to bring positive change in my life and others I would teach.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the spare change to fly my ass out to the West Coast, the only place training was offered at the time, let alone to cover the fee for the weekend intensive. So, I did what I always do, read every word I could find and improvised.

Almost ten years later, SoulCollage® training made it’s way east, to Chicago. This time I scraped up the fee, enrolled in the training and pointed my little VW Bug toward the Windy City.

It was everything I expected, and less. Let me explain. I was not disappointed in the least by the substance and quality of the training, the experience of community that I found with those of like mind, or the unique location—a former Catholic campus, turned residence home for retired nuns and priests.

Are you kidding me? A gaggle of middle aged feminists dallying with tarot-like image cards to access our soul purpose? We may as well have hauled out the Ouiji board and pentagrams.

Turns out the nuns were not only curious, but very open to the concept. As I explained it to one of them over lunch she smiled and said to me, “Oh, you mean you’re trying to know your inner Christ.”

You say potAto, I say potAHto . . . we’re both still eating carbs.

So, back to the part about being less than I expected. It didn’t change my life in any revolutionary way (at least not then). Probably because like many things I want with all of my being when I see them, once in my possession there are new wants to pursue. Nature of the beast, or nurturing from a consumer driven environment pushing us to always acquire more in our doing, being and having? New flash!  There is never enough, we are never enough in that paradigm.Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.45.07 PM

So, as it turns out, I’ve made quite a collection of SoulCollage® cards, and a funny thing happened along the way, a subtle change in my wants. Sure, some of my cards  speak to me about consumption and abundance, and time running out, about wanting what my eyes see—like this one. Can’t you just hear her, saying it . . . “Oh, I want that!”

But so many others are about hidden magic, creativity, freedom from expectations and a sense of wonder at the unexpected. Like me, a recovering Catholic school girl pulling up to a nunnery and not running in the opposite direction; totally unexpected. Or so enjoying the three days spent there that I have wanted to return ever since!

It’s very first world, to be able to say I’m learning to want fewer material things from the physical realm. It means I am secure and my needs are met—there is no wolf at the door. It’s the epitome of privilege to say I’m learning to want what I have instead of having what I want.

It’s where I’m at and who I am right now. And it’s enough.

I am the MAD Goddess, and I’ve got the *magic* in me.

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When Dreams Have Been On Hold

I am in such a rare place in life; a truly sweet spot. There is no telling how long it will last so I want to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.

An artist whose work I admire posted this on her Facebook timeline a few days ago.

I play this game with life. It says, “What now?”
I say, “Something Amazing!” And then I watch.
It never disappoints.
~Marabeth Quin

Having been laid low more than a few time by life’s heartbreaks (personal loss, death, disappointments). I know that amazing isn’t always the order of the day. But it is always possible – even at the darkest moment.

My husband and I waited five years for his medically predicted loss in the battle against heart disease, and when it seemed the shadow of death was drawing ever nearer, when the risks of surgery were less than the risk of doing nothing, he surprised us all by beating the odds. He awoke from surgery to a second chance at life.  How amazing!

So now it is my turn to take my life off of hold, to again pursue my purpose and passion with a whole lot of pizzazz.  That feels amazing too.

Every day, things all around me are changing. Who would think that completing chores could be such a thrill? In five years time many things went undone, for my husband’s physical inability to do them and my emotional incapacity to do it all alone.

We had known “retirement” a bit earlier than most because of my husband’s disability – adjusting to him being home full time, also included adjusting to becoming a somewhat caretaker.  But now his heart is fixed, as his daughter says, and we are beginning a new journey in our lives.

As we embark life is asking us, “What next?” and I am answering with a resounding “Something amazing, please!”


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