It has been too long since my last post. I had promised myself I was going to do better about staying in touch with all of you, but life got in the way!
On a personal level, my Mom who turns 91 this month, has been in a mental decline for many years. We’ve been able to keep her in her own home up till now but by the end of last year we knew she was no longer safe there despite all our best efforts. We were VERY fortunate to find a really great place for her next home and the big move happened at the beginning of February. We had hoped this would add stability and time to her journey, but her path is not as smooth as we had hoped. While I can’t change what is happening – to her, to us – I can adjust my attitude on how to meet these steep drops, wild turns and unpredictable shifts. I can fight and take it personally and be annoyed and angry about things still being hard, or I can breathe more deeply, choose to concentrate on relaxing more and actively practicing flexibility and patience. Taking the second option is what I try to choose. But I’m only human and sometimes I catch the shadow of resentment trying to sneak in the back door.
On the collective level, I like everyone else had been feeling the mixed feelings of hopeful optimism while still processing the sense of grief and loss due to 2 1/2 years of dealing with the turbulence of Covid-19. January seemed like a good place to start dreaming about a fresh start, make plans for a brighter spring and summer…. and then one mad god-king with delusions of grandeur in Russia changed all of that.
I am someone (like many of you dear readers are no doubt) that is highly sensitive so when there are mass tragedies in the human or natural world it affects me deeply. This shock (along with the feelings of senselessness and outrage) have derailed me once again as I’m sure it has done for millions of people around this earth whether they are directly involved or not. We are all human beings. Seeing the suffering of others is an emotionally wrenching and destabilizing experience for us all. How do we move forward and carry our compassion for what we know is impacting millions of innocent people? How do I do my work, which seems utterly silly and inconsequential in the face of such world-altering events? Artists the world over feel this pinching off. Some lean in, some go numb, some lean back, some stop work unable to find any joy in their hearts while war rages on.
I too was stopped for awhile. Then I remembered the stories from the people imprisoned in the camps during the holocaust. They knew that art was their way to their humanity and however and where ever they could embrace art they did. As an act of defiance but also as an act of reclamation. To connect to themselves, each other and to something sacred and pure… even in the midst of such darkness. Remembering these stories gives me a sense of purpose again.
My work is after all about “HOME” and how we all resonate with a sense of home even though it means different things for different people. So I took out an unfinished sculpture and dove back in to finishing it…. with love. And when I was done I wept. For all those who have lost their homes and all those who hope to be able to return home still… and may never be able to. And I wept for the animals who have lost their homes in this war, and the wildlife, the trees and even all the bugs in the earth itself who have been displaced by this horror in Ukraine. I wept for us all.
Then I took the house up into the mountains and asked the nature spirits to show me a place of beauty where I could photograph the house and I was led to an icefall that was melting in the strong March sun. I took the pictures I needed. The water dripping off the ice bathed the sculpture completely. It was purified and reborn in that water… as was I.
We all can be purified and revived in nature, if we just ask.
I send you all love, gratitude and respect. Thank you for hearing my story. May we all find ways to ride this turbulence and come out stronger for it.