In This Space

November 11, 2014


I've referenced Lisa Congdon's talk Embrace the Abyss before, and it merits another mention. I listened to the beginning of the talk again this week, especially noting this section:

"It is at this precise moment-- the moment when we’re out of our comfort zone or going through some personal misery...those horrible moments are the moments when we’re most ready for creativity. And yet, what do we do in those uncomfortable moments? We scroll through Instagram. We get sucked into the black hole of Facebook. We go shopping. We do everything in our power not to sit with those feelings of emptiness or fear. And yet we all know that it is embracing those moments of emptiness and fear that our greatest ideas come to us. That space is the field of all possibilities. Great creativity happens in the space when we are most vulnerable." -Lisa Congdon

These words really make sense to me. 

After a rather leisurely October, I'm jumping back into the swing of #1) being my own boss lady and #2) starting new artistic projects. Building new things! This is equal parts exciting and daunting. I feel the urge to drag my feel, as I often do at the beginning of things, as if there will be some kind of safety net if I do. I'm trying to remember how much I need these things that I want to make. I need an opportunity to exercise my imagination, entertain wonder and put together strange puzzles. It seems much more comfortable to distract myself with the things Lisa describes...or spend my time worrying or writing lists...but what I actually need is the work. Like this great quote I recently read: "Nothing will make you feel better except doing the work." Amen.

It was such a gift to spend last year's miserable winter in a studio making things with great people.  It was the perfect time to be present after a really challenging year. That's one of the huge gifts of creating: presence. You can't run away from the things that make you uncomfortable.

We had our first snow this week, and I can't help but be energized by it. Here it begins! Looking out my door, there's evidence of this strange kind of transition: snow on the ground, but yellow leaves still on the trees. Not unlike the transition I'm feeling. But let's plunge in. Let's make something in this space.  

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