Adventures don’t begin until you get into the forest. That first step is an act of faith. ~Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead drummer.
When the darkness comes, and tries to shoo every bit of light available, I run and catch a firefly and put it in a jar. My beacon now beside me, I can contemplate the depths of those deepest emotions waving and whirling inside of my body.
Walking lopsided and afraid. I take a step towards healing as I stumble towards my coffee pot. My brow is in permanent worry form. While my coffee brews I attempt to soften it up with my fingers. As I concentrate on relaxing my forehead, my brow seems to be stuck, and thus, I worry I will be permanently scarred. Catch 22 much?
It is funny how our bodies show our emotions. Even as I consciously stick all my worries in a balloon, and release them into the sky, the tenseness in my shoulders say otherwise. “You are stressed my dear, there is no way I am letting you go”. My creativity is blocked.
Week 12 of the Artist Way
As I end a series of posts on this Artist Journey, I seem to have fallen in the trap I was in a year ago. However, reading this last chapter validated it is not a trap, just the fear of letting go.
“I know the things I know”
Julia Cameron writes “… We are not accustomed to thinking that God’s will for us and our own inner dreams can coincide. Instead, we have bought the message of our culture (or collective consciousness): this world is a vale of tears and we are meant to be dutiful and then die. The truth is that we are meant to be bountiful and live.”
In my inner commitment to be true to myself, how the heck did I end up full circle dipping my toes into the darkness? In reality is, I have not gone backwards at all, I have just climbed another mountain and all I have to do is gently find my way down instead of this gripping fear of heights.
The artist way teaches us that we must be true to our inner child/artist and run with it. However, this is a totally spiritual practice and it takes gruelling inner work and faith.
Faith, in fact, is an appropriate last chapter. I love that Julia Cameron ends with allowing ourselves to delve into the mystery of the unknown. In the end, or at the beginning, faith, to me, is an inner KNOWING that everything will work out as it should. That as I continue to write, take photographs, doodle, create new fun meals, decorate my apartment, and play, everything is unfolding as it should.
However, like a woman steering a horse and buggy, I want to hold on to those reigns so tightly my hands are sore and bleeding. The question is:
“What would happen if I let go?”
Julia explains that “creativity begins in darkness” and that darkness is NOT knowing what would happen if I let go. She states: “all too often, we think only in terms of light: “And the light bulb went on and I got it!” It is true that insights may come to us as flashes.. some blinding… however, also true that such bright ideas are preceded by a gestation period that is interior, murky, and completely necessary.” p. 194
Thank you Julia! I am finally starting to understand that to enjoy life’s mystery, as a creative, and artist, I must trust the darkness. This darkness, is where I am “baking the bread” where my ideas are slowly turning into something tangible that I can put on paper, or an image on a photograph.
Trusting, allowing, surrendering to the mystery is a spiritual journey, “a pilgrimage home to the self” says Julia Cameron. She continues to write “Like all great journeys it entails dangers of the trail. Like all pilgrims, we will often be graced by fellow travelers and invisible companions. What I call my marching orders others may sense in themselves as a still, small voice, even more simply a hunch. The point is that you will hear something if you listen to it. Keep your soul cocked for guidance” p. 202
So as I continue to walk in the dark, with my furrowed brow, I have in my hand the light of the firefly to guide me. Faith, in turn, will allow me to release it once it has served its purpose… to light my way.
Blessed you be on your journey. And thank you for following my on my Artist’s Way Path.
You can buy Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity at any bookstore, Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.