Do NOT Give Up.

That is what I keep telling myself.  Do not give up the fight or give in to the darkness.  I have intentions.  I have desires.  I have wishes.  I am trying to make myself let go of the side of the pool and swim across the deep end.

What does that involve?  Letting some things go and focusing on the main things.  Focus.  That is the struggle.  If I focus on this thing, what happens to that thing?  I care about it, too.  I like too many things.  I want too many things.

I have for years read about simplifying and de-cluttering.  I have done a ton of work doing just that.  Even to look into my closets, most would be surprised at how little I really have in them.  None of my closets are packed.  They are fairly organized and tidy.  I have spent ages eliminating all sorts of things in my life.

The problem, as I said recently, may lie in the goals.  I have too many goals.  Too many things to distract me.  How do I get to the point of letting go of ideas?  I don’t have too much trouble letting go of things.  But, letting go of creative ideas is another struggle.

Even this weekend, I found some items for a project.  Spent a whole dollar at a yard sale on them.  It will take five or ten more dollars to have supplies to do the project.  How in the world do I get around to doing it?

Basic living seems to take up all of my time and energy.  And still I have not found a spot to allow myself to actually do some messy work.  I don’t have a work space.  I will set out some things and work a few hours.  Then, other things have to be done.  The work doesn’t continue.  The mess is in the way.  Back to the bins and closets it will go.

I am at a standstill.  No progress since last week.  I don’t know what to do or how to get through this block.  The basic steps would be get off the computer.  Get out the tools and supplies for one project.  Set up on the dining table.  Sit down and work.  Whoops.  My mind just raced off to worry about not getting the project completed and having to leave the mess out for a day or two.

I do believe I am ridiculous in my way of thinking.  I do believe there is a deeper issue.  I do believe I may break through to the real issue someday.  Therein lies the fear.  What if the real issue is something I cannot deal with?  What if it is too deep and too painful to deal with?  What if I go over the edge?  Into that black chasm?

My aunt asked me what I do to overcome the depression.  Riding it out.  Knowing it will pass.  It always does.  He holds on to me until I can hold on again.  I write a lot that is never read by others.  The darkest goes into the fire.  The darkness is less dark than in years past.  I do not use medication.

I do not lose touch with reality.  I know that is the greatest fear.  I have looked insanity in the eyes and called him Daddy.  He could not be reached in that dark place.  I associate creative pursuit with an unstable mind.  If I don’t get carried away with creativity, I won’t get carried away.

Understanding this behemoth does not slay the dragon.  I have not yet found the sword that will do the task.  It takes more than identifying and understanding and defining the problem to solve it.  A plan of action, resources to implement the plan, a time line to follow for the plan are not enough either.

There is another element needed.  Courage.  Daring.  Audacity. What it is called doesn’t matter.  Guts to jump off the high dive.  Guts to jump off the river bank.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  Yes, all of those things.  Look them in the eye and jump.  Plunge into the icy cold unknown.  Someone is waiting to reach out and pull me back in if the struggle is too much.  He has been doing so for more than thirty years.  When I am in too deep, he calls upon his Friend to help.

Maybe this week, I will have the audacity…………………….



Bearing Fruit

My life is sometimes too simple. Translate: boring. With no one left to take care of anymore except him, I end up with a lot of time on my hands. I still have plenty to do. My nine-to-five takes up most of Monday through Friday. I cook a meal most evenings. There are dogs and fish and a cat to see about. Housekeeping and gardening and washing take place. But none of that takes all my time. The weekends are usually busy, but not overly. I have time I could spend doing rather than piddling.

But what do I do? What do I want to do? I have some ideas. But, giving myself permission to do what I want to do appears to be the hurdle. I have trouble letting myself do certain things. Things I consider self-indulgent. Somehow, sitting in the chair playing on my laptop surfing Facebook or Pinterest seems okay. Sitting in the backroom trying to work out a problem with paint on canvas or with thread and trinkets does not.

Why? The first action requires little concentration. It is something that doesn’t produce an end product that must be dispositioned. It does not require continued acquisition of materials and supplies. It does not need to be explained. The second action does all of that. Further, the second action forces me to take risks with my skill and ability to bring into reality something I have imagined.

Frivolity in creative pursuit is not something I was encouraged to do. Sewing should produce wearable clothes. Quilting should produce useable quilts. Cooking should feed as many as possible with as little waste as possible. Trimming the crusts from bread was sacrilege. Painting on canvas was an indulgence for wealthier people. Mama did not mean it the way it worked out in my mind. But, it is there.

I put my life on hold a long time ago. I have kept it there in that safe place longer than needed. Getting the children grown, bidding too many loved ones goodbye, trying to figure out and adjust to my physical illness have required a holding pattern for me. No longer on the front lines of life, I would like to play a little. I would like to explore some creative work. I have always written. I have always taken photos. But, I want something more. Dare I take the risk to bear fruit?

Yaupons bear fruit in the dead of winter. Bright red berries on bushes that are as varied in shape as snowflakes. Tenacious. Prolific. Beautiful. Life-giving to feathered creatures. Perhaps, I should hear the lesson. Bear fruit even in winter. Accept my unique sense of the world. Be tenacious. Be prolific. Give life to the feathered beauty of my imagination.