No matter how wonderful painting and drawing is, I am grieving a part of me that seemed so committed, while admitting that those "tired ofs" are there, and the "oulda sisters" exist behind that door. I visit the idea of doors closing and windows opening, and hold onto it. I am back to working on doors that seemed closed, but were left open a crack, for instance, my lifetime quest to make my own Tarot Deck with all of my new realizations, complete with 79 poems that have yet to be fully edited and loaded. Then there are people are asking me if I'd consider doing a special portrait for them! Of course, I would! I'm learning how to set that idea to a reality score of inner music. Composing a real plan for it. I am also in a place of learning how to look at the windows around me.
|Rainy Afternoon, Oil Pastels on Archival Paper, 11" x 17"|
It also means that I have to make peace with being on anti-seizure medications for the rest of my life, according to all the neurologists I've visited, and this is a huge drag. Better than having seizures. Yes. That. But, I’m still fighting acceptance of this for the long haul. I give in for the time being. This means I really have to look at ways to make that work -- which turns out for me to be changing my lifestyle choices - diet, exercise, self-care, how to be a productive mom and person and ways to make a living from my home (back to writing??). Oy! Never ending things that fate has given me. Everyone has them.
To focus on what CAN BE DONE is the thing. If you haven't seen "Silverlining Playbook," yet, this is where I am highly recommending it.
I can be a great mom somehow right? Even if I cannot be there to scoop up, to deliver... I’m looking for that purpose, and meantime realizing that my kids’ lives are not about me anymore in any way, shape or form. I realized this by remembering my love of the Bay City Rollers back in the day, and realizing that they've already grown past that time and I know I didn't give a shit what my parents were doing even then. They’re out there discovering themselves and experiencing things they’ll never share with me. This is what every mother goes through. The empty nest. I’m just getting an advanced, slowed-down, warning. You know, mother birds do not stay in empty nests. They return to an adventure of flying.
I begin flying by learning about being an artist from something other than my childhood. There are a FEW (Har, many) how-to books, classes and crafts (like how to frame and mat an oil pastel piece) to take in. I can take some of the business skills I developed as a freelance writer and editor and apply them to an art career. Heck, ten years or more in Consumer Products branding, copy and content ought to be valuable to an artist. It is not really like I’m giving up on my experience so far, I'm just changing its focus from writing about the visual to making the visual. Who knows? It may bring me full circle.
I can make my body stronger and less dependent on medication to prevent the brain from having a lightning storm, if I keep after what I know. I know I have to reduce swelling, and I know going to a low-glycemic practice, and to keep walking is part of that. Perhaps I will find more. It will be a step-by-step thing. It took me 32 tries to quit smoking cigarettes for good many years ago. I must be approaching that with quitting gluten. Let the 33rd try be the one that lasts.
|C,G, Jung Laughs, Oil Pastels on Black Archival Paper, 19" x 25"|
I could learn that asking for help is not a bad thing. I could use your help. I would really appreciate your help. All I'm asking you to do is to click on the painting to the left. When you land at Daniel Smith's Art Contest, click to "Monthly Voting Gallery," and then go to page two. You'll find this painting about half-way down the page. I am putting myself out there to see what the next step might be and to challenge myself to get beyond a shyness I have about having my work seen beyond a hundred FB friends. I don't know what will happen, but right now I appreciate what I'm learning about what I can do everyday to sell myself tall rather than short. You, by the way, can vote once every 24 hours for the rest of February 2013, if you so choose. Please choose.
So to sum it all up, my year of recovery: My gratitude runs deep. I accept the bits I cannot change...mostly. I can turn away from closed doors and let go of clothes that don't fit. I can ask for help...and even accept it. I can be content by embracing curiosity and dislodging expectations. I don't know what tomorrow brings...
2013 © Amanda Morris Johnson