The Whole Ball of Wax
Yes. An attempt to gather together the threads, the strings, the bits and pieces that made what was the Artist's way for me these past twelve weeks, to identify what changed, what emerged, what was new in my life, what was resurrected as important, what did I remember, what tickled me, interested me, captured me.
The picture is a (very poor) photograph of the gift I made to myself to celebrate the completion of the twelve weeks. It's called Alpine Meadow by Mary Monaghan and because it's wildflowers, it reminds me that some things thrive in an atmosphere of benign neglect. Leave them alone, with no great intentional effort to feed or foster, and sometimes they'll just surprise you by springing up.
I have felt a bit of a fraud at times during these twelve weeks, since I write, but not regularly and certainly not prolifically, calling myself an Artist, and at other times have been entirely comfortable claiming the title, simply because I'd devised a new salad combination or started to wear different earrings with a certain outfit! It has been the promised roller-coaster, and it has provided the promised boat, in which I have managed to keep my feet dry and still float along with the current.
What I've loved this time has unquestionably been this blogging experience. I was so frightened at the start - how do you begin these things? - How do you invite yourself into other people's blogs? How much to say? What to leave out? But it's not the blogging. It's the people. I really didn't expect to make such connection, to find I could just KNOW what that person I've never met, and never had one-to-one communication with, means. The caring, support, encouragement, humour, interest of so many of the people on this journey was hugely important to me. There were some blogs I visited daily, and some on the list I got to a few times in the twelve weeks. I actually liked seeing that there were sub-groups, sets of people that were visibly forming another support-group based on their interests within the broader community.
I loved the reminders I had that the experience of doing the Artists Way in March-June 1998 led to changes, led to dreams and to interests and happenings that were so special in my life. My present career path, my successes (such as they have been) with my writing, collage... all had their genesis with that 12-weeks course. I was working alone, without the support of a group at that time, and this experience has been so much the richer for this group of people out there.
One thing which emerged, or re-emerged was in the exercise about alternate lives. I wrote I'd like to be running a Healing Holidays centre. During an idle moment later that week, I began to sketch out the plan I'd bring to the architect if I were having the centre built (that's after the Lottery win, of course!), but the little sketch started to look exciting, so I went off on an Artist's Date and bought a plain scrap-book, some glue and markers and began what I now call my Dream-Seed Journal (Endment and Kara both expressed curiosity when I referred to it weeks ago). Into the book I've pasted pictures and ideas for elements the Centre would include. I keep spotting things I'd like to include and adding them. I don't know how, when, where, this will come about, but the intention is there to incorporate this in something in the future. I'm taking a risk in naming this here (fear that the energy dissipates when it's put out there), but it's been one of the exciting outcomes for me of this twelve weeks.
I am facing into an exciting couple of years, finishing my degree now (this month!), and looking to formulate a life afterwards that will contain elements of creativity, healing, writing, working with people individually and in groups - and that will provide me with a living. I am trusting that some of what's been sown as seeds in this 12 weeks will begin to germinate in the quiet time afterwards, and that I'll look back in surprise to find the origins of life events in 2, 3 or 5 years time was here - right here, among this group, in these pages, and on these screens.
I'm afraid in all this writing, I'm not capturing anything of the spirit of what's been happening these 12 weeks. Perhaps I'm just still too full with it to express it. Perhaps many of you have expressed it already (I haven't been able to read all the blogs this week yet, and comments have been almost impossible to access for some reason). What can I say? There is an ending, and a beginning.....
Oh, yes, I have loved Poetry Thursday, Mixed Media Memoirs, Studio Friday, Self-Portrait Tuesday, List Friday... I have loved these peeks and glimpses sideways into people's lives. I have loved the photos people posted, the stories of children and family, the chances to explore other places which are so loved by so many of you, the welcome into your lives, the riches, the abundance of wisdom and knowledge, the generosity of spirit in all of you. Thank you. It has indeed been a blessing to find myself among you all, and especially, thank you to Kat for putting this together, for being the guiding hand there for all of us. Blessings to you, Blessings to you all.