I've been collecting the first figments of ideas, scuffing about in the primordial soup of the ocean's edge, looking long and hard bits of flotsam, forgetting their species and genus but committing their wild curves to memory. I've run my fingers over the ridges of barnacles, wondering what feeling would look like if the memory of touch was a physical object. I've listened to the suck of tides on waterlogged sand, rocking slowly on my heels, seeing without asking too many questions.
I've walked slow in the woods, examining the perfect trilogy of fiddleheads unfurling, counting one, two, three. I've eaten the first salmon berries like a guilty child, looking both ways up the trail before plucking their apricot-scented goodness and popping them in my mouth.
I've been thinking hard.
And I've been thinking not at all.
And this is the root of the matter.
Growing is uncomfortable.
(Oh friends. True confession. Somedays I sit and sulk like a obdurate child UNDER my studio desk, with legs splayed out, convinced that this is the end, I may as well sell off every tool and brush I own as I've hit the end of my artistic career. Thank GOD these fits are generally cut short by a fast run or a strong latté)
I've been working through ideas slowly, even for me. I've taken myself out to all the right places, seen all the right sights and have tried my best to give myself permission to NOT think. To not strain my eyes, to not stretch my heart, to not step into the woods with that ball of determination ripe in my stomach that says "Ok. Look close. We're here, and clearly there is something we're supposed to see so be careful, don't miss it. It's here, I just know, if we can just task ourselves to finding it then divine inspiration will be ours!"
Instead I'm trying to gift myself with the attention of a child.
This means sometimes I walk the forested trail too fast, forgetting entirely to notice the wild grapes and the mating calls of swallows before contentedly squatting on a busy street curb collecting purple eucalyptus pods to fill my pockets. It means sometimes I go to the beach for an extraordinarily low tide and spend the whole time at the dune line playing with driftwood with my back to the waves.
It often means my outings do not go as planned, but in my heart of hearts I feel...
I might not have found the idea to trump all past ideas, but I am finding a certain contentment that seeps through my bones.
Filling the well if you will.
Turning down the volume on that inner driving force, the one who is so necessary but too often bullies with harsh demands and snide comments. In turn trying to give the quiet if self-absorbed inner child space to just play.
It's all progress.
It feels so important that our lives be not only documented by what we produced but by who we became. I desire a wholistic life with every fiber of my being.
If you feel so inclined, please share:
How do you gift freedom to your inner child?
With open arms