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i guess you know by now

December 27, 2009

I tend toward intensity and drama. I tend toward the highs and the lows. I spend most of my time agitated — sometimes by deep depression, sometimes by too much energy — and although it can be uncomfortable, I know who I am in it.

This is what I don’t know: who I am in the space in between.

It is, strangely enough, the place I get lost. Hence, the delay in understanding that the relative calm that surrounds me right now is contributing as much as anything to my lack of creativity. It’s hard to be happy about a thing like that. I never wish for drama (it has a way of finding me on its own), but I do need to jump start my writing before I completely lose my mind.

I have been making the mistake of waiting for Divine Inspiration (which I don’t even believe in), and yet there’s no other way to explain my behavior. The conversation in my head is undeniable: I don’t have any ideas. I don’t have anything to say. I don’t have anything to contribute. Blah. Blah. And blech.

And so, though it pains me greatly, every bone, every muscle, I think I have to write through the hum-drum material and get it out of the way. The short version is this: 2009 was the worst year of my life AND 2009 was the best year of my life. The prosecutors in the Courts of Good Daughters and Wives and Mothers have cases against me that I could use as evidence to prove I’m a wretched human being. Instead, somehow, I’m gaining ground on being more sure of myself and more content with who I am than ever before. These are strange, strange times. I am in-between, I am on the verge and I have no idea what 2010 will bring. I am not even sure what to hope for.*

Don’t worry. I’m not going to subject you to the long version of the hum and the drum.

Just know that if posts continue to be sparse, I’m still here. Doing some listening.

*However, Dear Universe, it would be ever so delightful if my manuscript found a Home Sweet Home in 2010.

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The mixed media piece shown in this post is a work in progress. It represents only one session of work so far. I have lots more I’d like to do with it. It seems to go with this post, especially my opening about sadness and energy. Its working title is “Blue woman goes to Oregon for the first time,” but I don’t know if that will stick. (The name is inspired by the time I spent in Portland in July. I found it a place of restoration.)

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UPDATE: I might leave this post up until the new year. I’m not sure. Just in case, I’m starting a list here of New Year’s-type posts that have done a much better job than I have at bridging the space between 2009 and 2010 (I’ll update it as I stumble across The Good Stuff):

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5 Comments
  1. J. Clay Kincaid permalink
    December 28, 2009 3:32 am

    Carolee:
    I want to wish you the very best year of your life during 2010! I am just healing from surgery for the last stages of malignant nodular melanoma. Any day above ground is a good day! I think this is going to be a very good year for you and creativity. This life truly is a journey not a guided tour!Get on your path and ride it for everything it is worth!

    A fellow pilgram,
    J. Clay Kincaid

  2. December 28, 2009 12:30 pm

    I love the artwork, even in process. Funny, I thought Oregon was the blue piece. Maybe that’s why I am often drawn to monochromatic art, although the contrast in form & color & action here is fabulous. Is it too big to travel?

  3. December 28, 2009 3:24 pm

    Calm & quiet ≠ fallow. You’re so self-aware, I know you know this, but creativity isn’t only about producing art. You clean your brushes, read books, etc. As long as you’re not disguising a case of procrastination, there’s nothing to fear. Sometimes you really don’t have anything to say. That’s okay. Go slumming & have a little fun. Read someone who does have something to say & make a start by stealing from her. You have a full, artful, life — Happy New Year!

  4. Akilah Russell permalink
    December 30, 2009 11:37 am

    I bet you’ll find what you’re looking for in those spaces in between. Emily Dickinson said:

    “It is true that the unknown is the largest need of the intellect, yet for it, no one thinks to thank God …”

  5. December 30, 2009 5:59 pm

    “2009 was the worst year of my life AND 2009 was the best year of my life.” Yep, I’m right there with you. But I think things can only get better from here. Take time for yourself during the last hours of the New Year. You are a talented writer and artist, a terrific mother, and a loving person. I can’t wait to see all the good things 2010 has in store for you.

    *Hugs*

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