The first appearance of these words came in an email from Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. And although I was raised Catholic, I don’t share her faith in the church organization, officials or outmoded misogynistic concepts. But reading her words left me feeling pleasantly surprised, uplifted and informed. This was unexpected.
I’ll admit, the word unexpected makes me want to get a blanket and a hot cup of tea. But what if the unexpected is a good thing? What if life is meant to be a series of unexpected events that lead you in a new and better direction?
This week has brought some new and unexpected events and ideas. In the studio, I loaded 4 porcelain maple leaves into the kiln and opened it up to find 3. One had cracked right down the middle. It happens. But this time instead of blaming myself, I was glad for 3 good ones.
An unexpected call came mid-week and a local arts organization bought several pieces of my work for their annual auction. The best part, by being open, I met a new local artist who truly values other artists and their work.
Leaning on my tree this week, these words came loud and clear. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to ‘loosen up’. But the energy directed itself right into the tightness in my calves, knees, thighs, back, arms, neck and jaw.
But, I thought, I’m strong and to stay strong I need to tighten my muscles. Quickly the reply came, “No. Muscles held too tight, get tired and weak. Because you are strong, you can loosen your hold and trust your muscles to carry you.”
As I move around now, I’m grateful for the reminder.
“Life gets very quiet before all the doors open. I’m learning that what can feel like loneliness is actually grace. Rest. Find your strength. It will all change soon.”
Life does get quiet as fall turns into winter. Daylight gives less time for studio work and the world seems to hunker down. Working solo in my studio, I do worry about loneliness but these words brought me back to the truth. The solitude can feel satisfying and restful, like grace.
Sometimes, things happen around me to upset that balance. Like the gallery closing or pieces breaking or sales falling through. In those times, I need to find my strength knowing it will all change soon.
Perhaps, these are important words not just for this week, but all the time.
Remembering to staying open to the new and unexpected.
Trusting your strength to give you the ability to loosen up in tough times.
Believe in restful grace. And believe doors will open.