Dear Artist: The Secret Life of Wild Things
As an artist, not having the inspiration or energy to produce something from an already-depleted self + soul can literally feel like death: the ache of hunger twisting low in the stomach; the burrowing deeper under the covers and shutting out the light; the days without nourishment to replenish body and heart.
Trust me. I know.
I believe creative pain exists not because we feel the symptoms of it, but because we hold it at arm's length and refuse to allow it to pass through. Pain is a traveler, just like we are. And sometimes our sojourns intersect. The irony is that avoiding potential pain—taking the long way around, numbing ourselves to what is true, distracting, entertaining, and denying what it tries to reveal in us—often leads directly into what we fear most.
All wild things survive, endure + remain because they are willing to lift their faces to the sun, raise their arms to the rain, work their roots deeper into the dark unknown terrain. There is an exquisite and tender vulnerability in saying yes to baring ourselves to the elements of our lives.
Yet the elements of our lives are what hold the nourishment, the fertilizer, the sweet gulps of water when our throats are thick and dry. And it is in the willingness to be present like this that hidden passageways appear, offering a glimmering light whispering, “Maybe? What if? Why, could it be?” to our weary, bedraggled selves.
This takes courage. Start small today, beautiful one. What is your creative ache? What do you wish? What do you long for?
What is one simple way you will become present to yourself today, allowing yourself to stand your ground despite the sun beating down or the rain soaking and tearing at your clothes, and offer your weary spirit just a sigh of relief?