"One day seven years ago I found myself saying to myself — I can't live where I want to — I can't go where I want to go — I can't do what I want to — I can't even say what I want to … I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to." Georgia O'Keefe, 1923
A friend and fellow artist recently posted this on her blog. She is going to a very rough time in her life, and had been inspired by the quote. She realized she had to get back to the things that filled her life with joy. Taking some time for herself and making art was something she could control. It is the thing realized she had the most power over, in what surely feels like a chaotic and difficult existence.
I found the O'Keefe quote resounded with me as well. Just yesterday, it occurred to me that I had not worked on a "real" piece of art in almost a month. My life has been so jammed packed with the stresses of raising two children, taking care of our home, and going to work everyday at my very demanding job. I had started to forget what gave me joy. I had started to become an angry, stressed out human who lacked any connection to her true self.
Last night, I took the dog for a walk up Sunset Hill. The moon was rising above the clouds, the air was cold on my face, but invigorating. I had Kate Bush, Aerial, pumping from my ipod as we reached the top of the hill turned and looked down on the city of Burlington, the lake and the mountain beyond. It was so breath-takingly still in the darkness. I felt so overcome with possibility and verve.
I knew then, (what I still am holding tightly now,) that no matter what the future brings, I will survive. I will make it through all the trials and tribulations. The stress and the pressure of the mundane melted away, and in the end, only I remained. I walked back down to our house feeling a renewed sense of focus and determination. I started working on some new art pieces and found I felt better.
This is not to say that I have erased all my negative thoughts and anxieties. Those things are hard to wipe out of your mind when they are deeply etched there. But I feel lighter and more present. So that's a start, and there's a beauty in that, that no one can touch or take away from me.