As I watch the snowfall, finishing off the damage that the hail last week wreaked on my garden, a familiar feeling washes over me. A reoccurring theme in my life lately seems to be “start again”. In fact, my latest mantra seems to be “don’t get attached to anything.” Life is in flux. The garden is a metaphor for life in this moment. The waves of change are rolling in. Big and strong, they have been building since last year and now seem to be crashing on the shore in all their grand, dramatic beauty. As one rolls in, another sweeps away the remnants of the last and the cycle continues. When I looked at the garden I had started from seeds months ago and saw the young plants ripped to shreds by hail, I shed an angry tear. The tear was washed away by another wave carrying the message, ‘surrender’; then another wave saying, ‘start again’. These waves are the essence of creativity, so while I may not always recognize them outside of my studio, I know them well.
When I paint, energy builds, welling up inside me until I surrender to accept it. It feels bigger than me, so I intuitively know not to fight it. Although, of course, I have tried to fight it, only to find resistance or manipulation rebelliously creates frustration and a very bad mood. It’s always easier to ride the wave than paddle against it. So I paint until there is nothing left and I feel some kind of balance in the creation in front of me, as well as within myself. It’s finished; I let go; time to start again. Starting over… the cycle repeats. Nothing is the same with any creation, except the surrender and starting again. The end result or painting is always something new, sometimes made in a day, sometimes in 2 years. Each has it’s own schedule or plan and destiny.
It’s easy to get attached to the end result because I put my heart and soul into every creation. Whether it is painting, gardening, a relationship, a project, or even physical health… it hurts when the hard work gets washed away and the new wave coldly crashes down and says, “start again”. I find myself sometimes screaming back at that wave, “What for ?!?!” And then I remember the commitment I made to myself somewhere along the way… to LIVE fully. To live fully, to me, is to participate and create a magical life. So every moment to “start again” is an opportunity to contribute creativity to the planets energy bank. Every time I let go of the past, or an end result, and step fully into the present creation, I have the opportunity to live more beautifully. Being able to create is the gift. The end result is a bonus. When I think about it, that bonus never belongs to me. The nature of creation is that whatever is created takes on a life of it’s own. Somehow the second wind finds its way into my lungs when I simply remember to exhale completely and catch the next wave.