I feel a little bit like this snake.
OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this image, of a snake absorbing a supercharged stream of energy, and dispersing it into a lovely mound of greenness–it’s applicable.
It’s applicable because I’ve produced more work in the past eight weeks than in all of last year.
Part of the reason for this is the effect deadlines have on folks with ADHD (remember, I have a show coming up!), and part of it has to do with focusing on absolutely nothing else. But the biggest part, I think, is the heavens above me, or, as I am more inclined to see it, the Fields of the Otherworld, are supercharged, and though I have abandoned nearly all other regular practices of well-being (daily hikes, journaling, gardening), to some extent or another, in the last eight weeks I have also begun and sustained a regular practice of meditation.
It has made a world of difference. Plus there’s nothing like a short-term, life-challenging illness to sort of shake things up. If you haven’t read my previous newsletter, let me just say I’m totally fine, healthy, and prone, apparently, to random mysterious illnesses.
And as for this piece, I will say, there is something utterly alchemical about creativity. When I sit down and engage my creative energy with the object of my attention––a lightning bolt, or an owl, or a tree––that thing, that seemingly “other”, becomes activated within me. I experience a sort of merging of consciousness. So that, while drawing this piece, my fingers covered in the black, gray, and purple dust of my pastels, the hot crackle of cloud static becomes a curious feeling within me.
It’s a phenomenon I’ve observed before. But the more I practice it, the more heightened it becomes.
And it’s something I’m going to keep practicing, even after Friday, when all the preparations for my show (Entangled, with Alena Applerose) will be done. Then I can slow down a bit, focus on the forest, and clean my house and studio properly.
Truth be told, I struggled with which image to send out in this email––there are so many!––but opted for this one, because it was: a) the easiest to write about, and
b) the image is so relevant to my creative experience these past several months.
But there are so many pastels from the Fields of the Otherworld, and they have profound stories to tell. Barn Owl, Rattlesnake, Crow, and Bloodroot. I almost skipped the ants, but one quite seriously just bit my toe just now, in its fierce but not painful way. So there are also ants. Don’t forget the ants.
If you can, please join Alena and me for the reception of Entangled on Friday August 4, from 5-7 pm at the Owen Gallery (upstairs, Toe River Arts) in Spruce Pine. The ants want you there, apparently.
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