Friday, December 28, 2007

The Labyrinth Of The Muse ... Letting Art Lead The Way...

Last night I had a date with my Moleskine Watercolour Notebook...

And I thought and thought. I was thinking about all of the issues I have been writing about lately. Should I just do wearable art and nothing else and take forever to make one piece? It's not a matter of rushing so I can make money, it's a matter of stifling many other talents for the one. And suddenly it didn't seem right. They say, "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind." I'd rather say, "It's an artist's responsibility to follow her Muse..."

I have changed the name of my etsy store many times. Changed it to be catchier, to highlight the wearable art I've been creating, expanded it to allow for items of a different sort, and kept going back and forth until finally I was so confused I had no clue what to do, so I shut the store down temporarily until after the New Year when I could begin to understand what it was I was supposed to do.

I felt led by the Muse down one lane around a corner and into the center where I was lost and could not find my way out. And then I realized that it was because I was still trying to listen to the outside world. People's expectations, do's and don'ts, wanting to make money but refusing to sell out and do things that were not important to me. I sat on the ground in the middle of the labyrinth and was very, very quiet, and suddenly I stood up and I heard it. A lyrical lute-like music, it was the notes of my art singing to me. It called to me and led me down each new corridor, and with each turn down a new path I realized yet another piece of art that I love, that I do, that is available to me, and I realized that I was trying to put myself in a box because I was excited about something I was doing that I really wanted to do. And I will still be making wearable art. But these pieces take a very long time to make as all the yarns must be handspun on spindles blending many fibers and then allowing time for the twist to set. And in the meantime I could be doing other things. And I wanted, in that moment, to paint. And I got out my Moleskine notebook (These are the only ones I use and they have several different types. They were used by Hemingway, Bruce Chatwin, Picasso and many more artists and writers through time. I adore them and always have one with me to sketch, make lists, doodle... The Moleskines, the watercolors and black pens were all I needed and I sat to work and simply lost myself in the overflowing joy of creation.).

I knit, I crochet, I do freeform in both, I weave, I do whimsical little paintings for joy and to discover something or work something through in my mind. I embroider, I embellish, I make wild little dolls, I make jewelry. How could I ever have imagined that I would do one thing and cut myself off from all that I loved. And because the wearable art pieces take so long to make, it will be a lovely thing to have smaller pieces to work on as I am spinning the yarn and sketching the piece that the wearable art will be while working on other items so that I can keep working and growing and fill my store with all kinds and sorts of items of different prices and make a more balanced store. I am very excited about this.

Last night the words came to me (I have been listening to the 4 c.d.'s of Rhonda Byrnes The Secret over and over and over again...) and I was thinking about how we are all energy, everything is energy, and each form of work I do is another kind of energy, and to cut off the flow of any of the kinds of energy that were part of me would be a terrible mistake. I needn't think too hard about it. When we think we become afraid and we freeze up. If we open our heart and let a piece of art flow into us and through us and draw us back out again and simply follow where it leads us, we will find our way out of the labyrinth, and find the true center of our being. I am an artist. I need not limit that to one artform. Each one will lead me down a new path so that I can find myself again.

And so it came to me, "If everything is energy, does my tea flow into me?" Again, this is somewhere between a rhetorical question and a Zen koan, because the answer is so much bigger than the simple question. Everything is energy, and my tea and my work and my life and my art flow into me and back out again in a constant round. To stop the flow in any direction is to stop a part of oneself, and this is not good, nor healthy, nor kind to yourself. It does not lead us in to the practice of maitri where we first find love for ourselves so that we have it to give to another. We cannot be compassionate to another unless we have found it first for ourselves. And we cannot create, whether art, life, our homes, the world around us, until we are truly in that state of grace.

Yes, my tea flows into me, and I into it, and we into the world around us, and it swirls back around and feeds and comforts us and from a full cup we give to the world around us. Opening up to all the venues of my art has been teaching me this.

My little paintings will be a nightly meditative exercises and I already know what I am painting tonight. I will share it and other portions of my work right here, and they will help me make manifest my work, my dreams, my aspirations in life.

Namaste. Let me pour you a cup of tea...



zquilts said...

What a wonderful post - and I totally agree. I used to think I was so scattered in my pursuits - and then realized that one thing led to another and the parts become the whole....odd too as I was thinking of doing a post today entitled "Namaste". Blessings to you.

Noreen Crone-Findlay said...

Sip nectar from many flowers, sweet butterfly, for that is your true nature.

Victoria SkyDancer said...

Oh yes...wanting to do it all, and do it all simultaneously!
I hear you.

When I was uncertain of what to do next, or even first, I received an answer: "Let the Voice lead the way." This happened at the start of the year.

What can lead your way into the next year, and beyond?

Blessed Be,
Victoria SkyDancer

Maitri Libellule said...

ZQuilts, thank you so much honey!

And yes, I used to wonder and worry about the fact that I worked like a bee flying from flower to flower sipping nectar, doing all different manner of things, but you are exactly right! One thing leads to another and our creativity expands and expands and expands. I think we need just relax and follow where we are led to go, and we will end up just where we're supposed to be!

And blessings to you as well dearheart,


Maitri Libellule said...

Noreenie!!! I just laughed with joy reading your note because I had just written about feeling like a bee sipping nectar, moving from one artform to another. You are so so right. And bless you for saying that is my true nature. :o) I feel it more and more.

Sweet hugs to you and your clan, and have a very happy, loving, abundant New Year!


Maitri Libellule said...

Lovely Victoria,

I knew at the beginning of the summer that some tremendous change was going to happen in the months ahead. During the fall I was coming out of the cocoon and opening my eyes to a whole new world. Squinting at first, wings too wet to fly, but as we turn to the new year my life is just bursting in endless directions. I feel such joy.

I wish you so much happiness, joy and love in the new year. You deserve it all, and more...

Hugs to you angel,


Post a Comment