I’ve been feeling so ambivalent about this space, this blog and everything to do with it lately. I guess in many ways, this blog symbolizes the whole of my creative work and world, so it’s not all that surprising that I’ve kept my distance. Some of you may know or have guessed that this past year has been pretty dark time for me. I haven’t shown very much of that here — I’ve felt ashamed to, really — even as there was less and less of me to hold together, I have tried to put a brave (smiling) face on and “be professional” in my art/work relationships. But after months of stressing over the fall/winter/spring, tearing my hair out about what-am-I-doing and where-am-I-going with all of this, I finally had a moment of clarity a couple of months ago: I could see suddenly how much of my suffering was self-perpetuated. So I gave myself permission to just drop the expectations and walk away from it all for a while. Scary stuff, that. (Sounds a lot like giving up, or running away…) Despite that internal judgement, I can see that it’s been a good move for me. I’ve felt a lot more spacious and even happy since then. But what does that mean? What have I been doing so wrong in my work, that when I try, I fall apart? It turns out I may have no idea how to do what I love and make a living, or how to be who I am in this world that feels so flawed and fucked up. I have felt sometimes that I may have also lost even the sense of just what it is that I love, too…
But that sense has been creeping back…
I have little glimpses.
Not enough to name, or hold, or understand… but flashes. Flickers, like fireflies blinking on and off mysteriously over the marsh, like so many glowing, solemn eyes.
Maybe that can be enough?
(Enough for what??)
But all these thoughts and feelings and ideas, they seem far too vast and intangible to write about. So I have mostly stayed away.
It’s seeming to me now that perhaps I need to learn a whole new way of living, of being. In my moments of buoyancy lately I’ve noticed I still have this lingering thought that “soon I will get back to my normal life, the way things were.” But gee, Anna… what the hell is normal, and do I really want the state that had come to pass as normal, for me? When was this mythical time of ‘before’ that you’re pining after? Before feelings of despair and anxiety shrouded the world with so many “Danger-Do-Not-Enter” signs? Can I even remember a time in my adult life that was free from those feelings? (No.) This winter was certainly some kind of nadir in the trajectory, but nothing new, per se.
You know, I am actually glad to have bottomed out so painfully… otherwise I think I could have gone on in that desensitized state indefinitely. Slowing leaking air and deflating a little more every day, and just thinking hey, that’s just life.
Ah, right. So why am I back here writing today? Because the kinds words of a fellow traveler this morning jolted my self perception seriously for a second, with their incongruity. She thinks I’m sort of awesome. How is it that I can feel like such a sack of shit so much of the time, and out there somewhere, there’s this fine human being thinking that I’m doing something right?
Sometimes I just don’t understand life at all.