For some time now I have awaited the right moment to dive into this new project. The moment arrived just days ago, spurred in part by a feeling of never getting to create and a feeling of make it happen. It felt good to get back to my work table and pull out supplies, to cut the phrases I had marked from Never Coming Back, and to sort through the box of flea market photos I got many years ago. I do not understand my compulsion to do an series of Alzheimer’s based pieces, but as soon as I read Alison’s book I knew I had to. Time is precious to me, I struggle to make a spot in my schedule to pursue what calls me. Yet not to, to let everything else take over is not the best use of my time after all.
I sometimes find myself taking a narrow view, focusing on the task at hand with an earnestness to keep me on track. Painting is my current narrow view, wall painting not creative painting. So there has been wallpaper stripping, spackling and sanding, plus all the taping and cleanup that bookend such projects. Meanwhile my worktable continues to gather dust, as does my camera. I am hyperfocused on getting these DIY projects done so that they are off my list and will help us in a couple years when we plan to sell. There are so many projects I simply cannot do (ie- pave the driveway), that any I can do give me a sense of moving forward. Yet in spite of the feeling of accomplishment I am missing the creative time to work on projects and explore new ideas. It is a toss up, as most things in life tend to be.
I have been doing well with my self imposed 200 images per month goal. I struggled the first few months of the year with weather and commitments that fell to me to handle. If I don’t get out and use my camera regularly, I find that my “eye” loses some of the skill I rely on. Once upon a time I would get 750 images a month, out several days a week, but now is now and 200 is what I can reach. Change is hard, it forces you to make best use of what is available in the moment.
The first touches of fall are creeping in along the stream out back. The beaver(s) have made a series of dams and changed the stream to a series of pond areas. I walked as far as I could until the water stretched too far and wide to easy get around. I didn’t see or hear any sign of the dam builders, possible they are in a lodge they built elsewhere, or no longer in the area. I will have to see what the winter snows bring and the spring run off to know if the dams stay intact or get washed away for good. It is a big cycle of which I am merely an observer, a temporary tenant.
It seems fitting that the joyous paddling of an otter brings in summer. The longest day is upon us, the solstice, the midsummer madness that fills our evenings with mirth and companionship of all sorts. The last of the peepers, the cry of the hawks, the swoop of the dragonflies in the twilight. This moment seems to exist outside of clock time, dancing to a beat all its own, whether we join in or not.
I seem to be fighting the universe most days. I have so many directions I want to make progress in. And progress on all fronts is sporadic at best.
- streamlining my life, I have been working on this for a couple of years and have kicked it up a notch. Clearing, sorting, selling and removing items large and small that do little but take up space both real and mental. The paperwork piles are the worst: old forms, medical paperwork, letters, work paper etc.
- Joe’s recovery, which is top priority and yet leaves me wondering which things to really focus on. It is like choosing between the schoolwork or outdoor time. Which will prove the most beneficial in the long and short term.
- art and creativity, squeezing it in here and there doesn’t bring the results I would like. Goal setting at the start of each month ends up being too high for what the month bring. Which ends up leaving me feeling cranky for what I didn’t achieve instead of glad of what I did.
I need to accept what is achievable, let the time flow as it will and welcome the new pace of life as best I can. It has held many sweet surprises which I need to remember when I get a case of the crankies.