Tag: goals

steadfastness

Sometime around the fourth inch of snow of this current snowstorm, I started to lose my resolve. All I wanted was to hide.  Instead of putting on my boots and heading to the studio, I curled up with a good book and the animals, tucked under the blankets, simultaneously overwhelmed and grieved by the amount of work.  Too much of this winter has been spent hiding.

red and white bowls
red and white bowls

Both the list of all I have to do and the absolute mystery of how it will get done quickly with the foul weather and the limits of my two hands keep plaguing me.  The fear that this is what defeat feels like wandered through my heart over and over.  Perhaps, I have been too stubborn to notice it as failure has crept up behind me. How do I stay steadfast to my dreams when I am caught in this cold, lonely, confused insecurity? Even today, I know I should be grateful.  Thank God, most days this question doesn’t plague me.  As I have talked about before, I find myself fortified by art.  When I stand before the wheel, or the easel, it restores me and aligns me with a great feeling of purpose.  The ability to make new and better pots and paintings and poems somewhat insulates me from rejection.  Even when I cannot soothe myself with creating, a certain amount of strength dwells within me.  When confronted by others, I can muster some defiance in the face of predictions of doom. Another’s negativity might effect me, frustrate me or dishearten me, but it rarely unseats me entirely. No, what makes me falter are the churning doubts that echo through my skull when I am alone.  The dark and the cold don’t help. Tomorrow night, they predict another terrible storm. Then another a couple of days later. This huge mount of work that I must do continues to grow larger – for which I am wildly grateful and a bit intimidated. However, even during this snow-drenched day, I have found a comfort beyond these words and the few sketches I have put to paper.  I focus on one sentiment, which I have clung to for the past two days like a mantra: I can only do what I can do.  If I look deep into myself – from how my flesh manages in this moment, to what tenacity and inspiration dwell within my spirit, to how well I can navigate the frozen world outside – and I am doing the most that I can manage, then that is all that matters.  That has to be enough.  If I am being true to what I can do, then the pain of deadlines and pressures and stress becomes self-imposed. I am whipping myself for things I cannot alter and honestly the masochism of self-hatred long ago lost its appeal. So I am letting myself feel rotten without pushing myself to end up feeling even worse.  I sigh with the dog when we go outside for a walk only to crunch and slide on ice and snow.  And, after I am done writing, I will curl up with either Rumi or HG Wells and spend the evening in the embrace of their words. It will all be okay, even if my steadfastness feels like discipline right now rather than emotion.

eating elephants or moving mountains

A friend of mine works as a life coach and told me once (free advice I should have paid quite a lot for) that one cannot eat an elephant in one bite.  The elephant must be consumed in small nibbles, working methodically, until the entire beast is digested.  Now, this was understood to be a proverbial elephant, since at the time I was a vegetarian, but the analogy helped.  As we talked, my imagination met her image with another, the one I had been using for years: I felt like I was trying to move a mountain larger than Everest with a weak and rusty spoon.

Either way, no matter which picture works, I find great satisfaction in the burp after that large meal or while one rests a very weary arm from shifting that much dirt and stone.  I close in on some wonderful changes.  By the time this blog is released into the wild, I should have finished quite a few.

My website has been recoded.  On various pages, you can purchase items straight from the website itself – in particular bookmarks, prints, poem posters and some paintings.  For now, sculptures and pottery will be mostly showcased on my ebay store, better suited to rapid turn-around.  Trust me, uploading those items and the altered website was a labor of both love and frustration.  My geriatric computer did not like the task at all, and let me know it.  {Indeed at the time of this writing, I am still working on the painting section of the website!}

Other bits of elephant are less visible, but probably caused more indigestion.  Since my ‘part time’ job is website coding and some graphic design, I’ve been happy to get projects done for clients.  The book-keeping is done, with only the last bits of inventory hanging over my head as I type (but that should be done before this blog is released.)  This brings such relief to me.  However, as I looked back at entries I wrote less than a month ago, talking about looming to-do lists and the intimidation of it all, I realized today’s entry deserved to be: proof that over time, even the most distractible of people (myself) can get things done albeit slowly.

Three small poems

 

darwin

He growls,
wide eyes
still shining from sleep.
Raising his head
from the pillow,
vigilance writ
upon his groggy face,
the dog is caught
in that moment
when dreams and reality
coexist.

 

 

 

 

My heart breaks
when it meets hopelessness.
Dreams half-formed
then thrown away,
glistening in the trash
where I just tossed
the debris from my lunch.

 

 

insomnia

What would my life be
without this lonely,
aching
pain?
To what glory
would I have I transcended?
Or, would I have remained
distracted?
For I could not fail
to notice suffering’s gift:
it exposed
the marrow
of my bliss.