I've had this page sitting open now for 5 hours - waiting for the optimal conditions for writing something deep and profound. I'm looking for peace - peace that just doesn't want to make it's way to the little corner of my porch. I live in an urban environment - right down the street from a high school. My life is filled with sounds of garbage trucks, lawn mowers, construction noise, the neighbor's continuously running TV set..... I could go on.... I could mention the elementary school 2 blocks away with the sound of playing children...but that doesn't bother me, it's cheerful in nature. If I move indoors there's my washing machine, the interruptions of unwanted phone calls, text messages and the occasional barking of my dogs to keep me distracted. Added to that are children that should be at work or school and you get one big.... everyone leave me alone moment!
And yet aloneness is not a condition that is conducive to writing either! Often I will go to Barnes and Noble or Starbucks looking to find some peace in the midst of a crowd. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.... But if I wait for the perfect conditions... this blog will never be written.
I need to write this blog for many reasons. One is that I have various thoughts swimming around in me that want to come out. Yes, I could journal and I do faithfully write my morning pages as Julia Cameron urges us to in "The Artist's Way". I find these helpful to organize my thoughts and get them down on paper but it's not enough, I'm a teacher by nature, born into a long line of educators and pastors and I believe in sharing experiences. When we share, life gets more bearable and more profitable.
And so, I'm going to take you on a little journey with me. I'm on a pursuit to find myself.... yes, a bit late - as I will be 51 in just a few short weeks. (Don't tell anyone - it's a secret). It's not that I haven't uncovered aspects of myself throughout life... a daughter, sister, wife, mother, christian. I know my personality and I have a good grip on my talents. I've accomplished some wonderful things and wasted a lot of time!
It might be that I feel a great responsibility at this time of life to sing my song, so to speak. As an artist I feel things deeply and need to express them through my art, music and writing. God placed something in me that needs to be shared. I need to figure out what it is and share it! It's a continuous process for as long as I take in, I will continue to expel. This is the essence of living and breathing.
There is a sense of urgency in me for none of us knows how long we have. I was reminded of that just last week when a fellow photographer/artist full of passion and zeal for his family and life, with more energy than I will ever have, experienced a stroke, causing fear to rise in the hearts of many. I'm happy to report that it looks like he will recover fully but it is a reminder that life is fleeting and that we need to both collect and spread the joy while we can. Each moment that we have is a gift to be savored.
Why am I sharing this blog with you? The musings of a middle aged woman aren't any reason for you to take a few valuable moments a day unless it's to help you along your journey too! This blog will be a mishmash as my life is such. Some days we will reflect on life and love. We will talk about spiritual matters as they pertain to our own growth and joy. Other times we will study art, both my own and art of others. As I do when I teach my classes to professional photographers, we will study what it means to be an artist, study the life of other artists and their work and partake in exercises that will draw each of us out. I want to challenge you to really live life to your fullest with all of your passion. To love more deeply, to share more readily and to experience true joy. As a creative person - and I believe EVERYONE IS - you will bring the beauty inside of you to the world.
There, I've managed to write my first post, despite the distractions (did I mention school buses!??!) But life is like that - if we wait around for things to be perfect before we move ahead, we never will. Every moment is a mixture of blessing and pain. One problem is solved and another comes right on it's heals. The gardens of our lives contain weeds and thorns. I can't help the weeds... I can pull them out but they will just grow in again. My responsibility is to make those flowers as beautiful as they can be in their season. I want big, colorful, pointing to the sky and spreading all over the yard flowers! Flowers that please the bees, hummingbirds, butterflies and all who look on them. Flowers with such a lovely aroma that people are drawn in and given a moment of joy. Come with me on this journey as we cultivate our gardens and make this world a more beautiful place!