This morning when I put the dogs out, I noticed the moon.
I wondered what planet was up so early on an August morning. And I ran inside to fetch my camera in the hopes I could capture the elusive moon.
I have been thinking a lot about creativity lately. I have been in a creative slump. Unfinished oil paintings sit on my easels. I haven’t sketched in ages. I found ink pen nibs in a business card holder on my desk and thought about the last time I used them.
It was a very long time ago.
Drawing is like a best friend. You can spend years apart but when you meet up again, you pick up the friendship right where you left, as if time had never intervened.
The only creative thing that I have done in recent months has been to experiment with glues and ceramics.
But this post is not about the success (or lack thereof) that I had with different ceramic glues ad the weather.
It is about the stirring in my heart and soul that draws me back to the roots of who I am. Who I was created to be.
I set myself aside for so many years that I hardly remember who I used to be or who I wanted to be. I do not regret that: my children were the greatest part of my life and I miss them horridly now that they have grown and are forging their own lives far away and without me. That is as it should be: the sacrifice, the growing apart, the mourning.
I am suddenly in a place where I can rekindle my dreams.
I find myself walking down the halls at work and admiring the lighting. It casts strange shadows on the walls and I imagine myself as a little girl trying to walk with the light: stretching up when it reaches for the ceiling and squatting down to walk under the shadows where the light fades and back up again.
I find myself staring out at the trees and seeing a green dragon curled up on the limbs, blinking its warm golden eyes and me before smiling and disappearing into the leaves.
I remember the girl who danced in the rain. That was in a place where rain – and warm rain, especially – was an oddity. Barefoot on warm asphalt, in jeans and a smock top, but my memory makes it a white cotton dress that billows around me as I twirl to some unheard song in the background. And laughing, I look up to see my parents in the front door watching me, slightly amused.
It’s a favorite memory.
At Faerieworlds, I felt myself begin to tap into something I had not sensed in a very long time. Something primal that I had buried under a lot of adult rules and mores about growing up. It teased at me, like the out-going tide. And I knew if I waded out too far, it would carry me off like the rip tide and I would be helpless against its flow.
Why did I resist? Because I am an adult? Because I am a Christian and the images I see in my head are not exactly outlined in the Bible, and being so cannot be from God? Isn’t the litmus test whether or not they do harm, not whether or not the Church approves?
The Church painted clothes on Michelangelo’s masterpieces on the ceilings of a number of churches, including the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo did not clothe his images. I believe to this day that the artist heard from God; the Church heard from Man.
But that little political rant aside, I have been trying to listen to that voice. The voice of the muse.
And little images have begun to float in my mind. Projects. Ideas.
Tonight, I saw a vivid arrangement of colors in my mind’s eye, stuck in traffic on I-205 and trying to stay in the moment so I didn’t drive into someone’s bumper. I saw a vivid blue back ground and an open hand. Millions of lights flashed out of the hand, like seeds being sown. I saw a painting I did a very long time ago on a trunk that has since been destroyed and I knew that I needed to return to that moment, to that person, to that art.
I allowed the trunk to be destroyed in a bizarre moment of conformity.
God did not create me to conform. He created me to create.
And as I turned the last corner before pulling into my drive tonight, this song came on the radio. I don’t even particularly like Aerosmith, but this song is timeless.
It was also very timely.