Last night I had a chance to hang with a good friend, one of my “wise woman” friends. I talked about my interview with Nicolette Tallmadge on her podcast, “Crafting Voices”) and how I got shivers down my back (in a good way!) listening to myself talk about my art. You can listen to this interview “Inspirations” here: http://www.craftingvoices.org/past-guests/ and read more about Nicolette and her program here: http://www.craftingvoices.org/about/ It’s about 45 minutes and I’m at the very end. Hey, it’s worth the wait!
In that interview, I shared a break-through moment I had years ago, when I realized the story about the cave, was the story about myself, and my art.
The Lascaux cave is me.
Lorna laughed. “I got that the first time you told me the cave stories!” she exlaimed. “The cave is your heart.”
We talked more about the active listening exercise I learned from another “wise woman” mentor, Deborah Kruger. (“Empowerment for Women in the Arts”) The premise of the activity is, we all know in our hearts what it is we want and what we can do about it. We just need the opportunity to be listened to, listened to deeply and well, so that that it can come out. You can read more about this workshop here: http://www.deborahkruger.com/workshops.php and see Deborah’s beautiful fiber work here: http://www.deborahkruger.com/gallery.php
At 4 a.m., I woke up from a dead sleep.
I had a sudden thought. Can’t even remember what it was now. I think it was some issue to do with my art.
And I could FEEL my mind pounce on that thought like a dog on a bone. I began to pry at it and tear at it, trying to get it open.
It was like someone had given me a long division problem and told me to solve it in my head.
And just as suddenly, I realized what was happening.
This really isn’t all “me” right now.
Well, yes, it’s ME in there. But it’s overlaid with something else going on.
This is the stage of life I’m in. For the first time, I could actually SEE that, FEEL that, watch it happen.
It was empowering.
My mind is in overdrive mode on SOLVING PROBLEMS and FIGURING THINGS OUT. And just like a kid with a hammer, where everything looks like a nail, right now, everything that comes into my mind and into my life, looks like a problem I need to solve.
Everything interfering with my art right now is someone else’s problem that I’ve picked up to solve.
Or a problem I THOUGHT I had about my work and where to go with it, that I’ve actually already figured out.
I already know the ultimate answer.
It is in the cave. The cave is my heart.
I realize as I put this to cyber paper this morning, that this is why, when I talk about the cave or my art, I always–ALWAYS–put my hand to my chest, over my heart.
Everything I need to know is there.
And that’s the story I need to get out into the world.
I came downstairs to write that down. And went peacefully back to sleep.
As I reread this for spelling errors, I realize some people might be jumping up and down right now, yelling, “What? WHAT? What is the answer?”
If I told you all the insights, you would just say, “Oh, I know that!” or “You’ve already told us that!”
Mostly, they are the things I’ve been writing about and the insights I’ve had over the last few weeks.
The big answer was, the process of making my art makes visible in the world the stories in my heart. And NOTHING–certainly not other people’s problems–can interfere with that. When I get back to that powerful place where I believe that, and act on that, every day, I will do more good in the world than almost everything else I’m spending time on right now. (Except perhaps for sharing that process with others.)
And I see that the doubts I’ve had are simply a stage of my life I’m going through right now. For the first time, I can really see that. And let go of all that angst.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?