“Where did it come from?”
It’s probably one of the most common questions artists get asked about their work. Though as common as it might be, it would be easier to explain to a preschooler where babies come from.
I’m one of those people who watches all the bonus features that come with a great movie. I listen to director commentaries. Since it aired four nights ago, I’ve watched the PBS Hamilton’s America documentary three times.
I am perpetually amazed by the creative process, by how tiny the seeds of inspiration can be, how tenuous the threads that weave a masterpiece. These things spring out of dreams, other people’s works, and sometimes literally from under a rock. But more often than not, there’s something of the artist’s self in the work.
Yet, whether the inspiration is a life experience, a piece of history, or a quiet nudging of a the unconscious, there comes a point where we creators need to tame the creation. There comes a point when the creative process becomes work.
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I’m a work in progress. We all are. But what does that mean?
There are times when we simply wait, riding the life’s waves, moving with the ebb and flow of days. Grief demands this.
But other times we realize the next step requires our “consciously becoming.” We need to edit, shape, form ourselves in order to move forward. While our becoming often is based on our habits and actions, sometimes there’s more of a physical aspect to the change.
Almost two years ago, I began my journey to consciously become more than the sum of my tears. Loss had changed me, and that wasn’t all bad, but I knew I needed some “editing,” and not just emotionally. I committed to finding answers. Over the course of six months, I saw as many different doctors, clocking well over 1000 miles in pilgrimage.
Ultimately I was referred to a surgeon nearly 800 miles away. (Spoiler alert: I opted to see another only 200 miles away instead.) But this was all in a conscious effort to become something more. And, for me, no amount of positive thinking or inspiration could take the place of a scalpel in a skilled hand.
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I’m no surgeon. I’m an artist. No one is going to bleed out if I omit punctuation
But there comes a point when no amount of happy thoughts will take the place of hours at the keyboard or with an editing pen in hand.
Tomorrow I will share some of the fruits of my “conscious creation.”
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Butterfly image (“Skipper”) courtesy of Gualberto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I am participating in CarlyMarie’s Capture Your Grief campaign.