That’s the message I got this week while leaning on my favorite cedar tree in the woods. As I stood there breathing deeply in and out, I realized I was curling my toes in my shoes. And there was absolutely no reason or need to be gripping the inside of my shoes. As always, Mother Cedar’s words were right on.
I uncurled my toes. Took a few more big deep breaths letting my jaw loosen, my eyes relax and my shoulders lower as I felt the warm energy of the earth flow through me.
It’s been a tense and busy several months. I didn’t realize I was still carrying it all around.
|New Sculptures: Goddess of the Heart(top left), Goddess of the Trees(bottom left), Bluebird’s House|
A show opening.
My first featured show in years opened last Friday. It was a lovely evening surrounded by family, friends, gallery guests and supportive fellow artists. My talk to the group about my art went well and there were lots of interesting questions about the process of bringing these pieces to life.
|Labor of Art Show 2009, Mixed Media Story boxes|
I’ve had a quite a few show openings in my 20 years as a working artist. And I want to point out my term - working artist - because this has been my focus, my job, my life. It is not a ‘hobby’. It is work. It is work I love, yes. Yet it was not easy and it took several decades of study, classes, assignments, practice, hours in the studio to get where I am today.
And I’m not done. I’m still learning with every piece I throw or sculpt or build. There’s success with shows and sales as well as failures. No matter what, I keep seeing and making and putting it out there with love. Even this week, as I painted and loaded up the kiln I tried to remember to flow rather than push.
A mortality reminder.
I am a melanoma survivor. When I was pregnant with my son, a mole on my leg that I’d had all my life was diagnosed as melanoma. I was terrified but luckily it was caught very early. It was removed with good margins with local anesthesia so as not to hurt the baby. I was 6 months pregnant at the time.
I went in yearly for an overall skin check for a decade but as time went on and nothing went wrong, I let it go. I made appointments every 3 years instead. It was always fine.
But three days before my gallery show, I had my first biopsy in 30 years. A suspicious area had appeared. I left with a few stitches and a lot of fear. Luckily for me, a few days later the call came to tell me it was not cancer this time. I was safe.
Into the woods.
It was time. For me, one of the best ways to feed my soul and refresh my spirit is to head into the woods. I’m blessed there is a beautiful park near my home with a lake, big cedar grove and stands of birch. There are herons, geese, fish, ducks, otters and beavers.
That’s where I’ve been this week too. Wandering, leaning and hearing the wisdom that life is precious every day. That whether you succeed or fail or live or die, isn’t a matter of holding on but loosening up and letting it flow.