"And whether or not, it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should." Excerpt from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, 1927
I admit that I constantly worry uselessly, but really, when is worry ever useful? And in spite of my fretting and fussing, things most often evolve and resolve without any effort on my part whatsoever. However, and this is the key, it is incumbent that I be aware of myself and my surroundings in order to notice, and be ready to adapt, when solutions are revealed.
In the 1970s, everyone had a Desiderata poster on their wall. Who is brave enough to date themselves and admit to remembering this, besides me? 'Go placidly amidst the noise and haste...' Les Crane, possibly thinking that the poem was public domain, turned it into a spoken word hit song. (For the younger set, check it out; there are many versions online.) I just read on numerous websites, however, that apparently it was not yet public property and Mr. Crane it seems had to pay out unexpected royalties. Hopefully, he calmly rested in the 'universe unfolding as it should' when he handed over a chunk of his profit.
In my own small universe, I have have been anxious about how to fit everything I love to do in the context of one year. The people in my inner circle have heard me say many times that I need about 20 lifetimes to be able to comfortably dedicate a season to each of my passions. Painting, horses, drawing, gardening, printmaking, genealogy, illustration, writing, landscape architect, pottery, architecture...
Being a gardener, and maybe because I grew up on a farm, my world still rotates on a seasonal axis. It turns out that this seasonal routine is a good thing for me. As an artist, when I am in creative mode, I can become emotionally drained in the giving of myself to my art. You may have heard it said that with each creation a part of an artist's soul is required. That may sound dramatic, but in my experience, it feels true.
So, even though I've danced around this idea for a few years, I hadn't concretely incorporated it into my life. However, it has become crystal clear recently, that the transition into Summer Girl that happens in May, annually, without fail, is a gift, and that it is counter-productive to fight it. The solution was sitting right there in front of me and I missed it. I need to allow myself the freedom to let go and not feel guilty to step away for a season; that staying in the 'I can do it all' mindset is a killer. I cannot do it all.
So, this summer, I blew it again, and wasted a ton more brain cells forcing Fall and Winter Girl to march alongside Summer Girl's ambitions. Rather than just let her rest I forced the issues. Rather than purely absorb the gift of being outside in the garden, and enjoy the planning for the outdoor quilt show, including making a quilt, be enough, I lost sleep and precious time being in a state of bother.
The two paintings that I'd started had become a drain; good art is difficult to produce under this kind of mental divide. Eventually I stopped and fought off the feelings of guilt. So, now I am absolutely resolved that May and September will be welcome, book end, transitional intermissions of adjustment, rest, tying up lose ends, and regrouping. A total gift. Next year, I am determined to embrace Summer Girl when the right time approaches and allow Fall & Winter Girl to have a sabbatical. Rather, than the fretting and fuming, I want to be grateful that my universe has unfolded, no doubt, as it should.
Embracing this freedom has lifted a weight off my shoulders. From an objective standpoint, it seems like this should have been a no-brainer, but somehow it has taken me numerous frustrated seasons to have it sink in. Dah.
Until next time,
The Podunk Howler