I try to make it a habit of taking a walk every morning before I get to the studio … aw it can be a challenge to get to it, but boy what a difference it makes!
Rusty started it… this sad-eyed, lanky greyhound slunk into our lives ten or so years back. Along with him came the responsibility to take him for a walk.
Whatever the weather he would apparate silently before me, that pleading look in his large brown eyes. “In a minute,” I’d promise him, tripping over his large frame as I herded kids out the door.
He had a talent for standing in all the wrong places, very small cranial capacities greyhounds have… But eventually we were off, depositing children at various educational facilities on the way.
Finally it was just he and I. On reaching a park, lead unclipped, he wandered off; sniffing here or there, leaving smelly presents for me, cringing at other canines or exploding into a run of cheetah-like joy.
Myself in the meantime would feel the early morning tensions gradually ooze out of me.
We just wandered.
Rusty is gone now, to a paradise for good-and-faithful-dogs I hope. By far his best legacy is introducing me to the joy of wandering.
Usually I climb a hill (gotta be good for the ol’ bod)... sometimes I sit… always I observe, notice, see, hear…. And am inspired.
Sometimes my head wanders depressively, and that too needs to happen. My thoughts also need that chance to run loose, to dash about madly and relieve themselves.
Often I ponder my work.
I love creating, I need to, I am much more “nice and happy” me when I’ve been making. But when I get the chance to think, I often ponder: “what am I “supposed” to be doing?
What is my soul work? I want to do something that is useful… Often I get hit with a grief over the world and people’s pain and my helplessness in the face of it.
I’d love to make things that are inspiring or uplifting or challenging or that create conversation or a sense of wonder… or that can at least earn me lots of money that I can then give to people who are better at helping others in need than I am!
What is my part in the big, competitive, astonishing world of art, inhabited by brilliant people?
As I walk along grumbling and angsting, quotes from the “Artist’s Way” often arrive in my head… (boy I love that book, by Julia Cameron).
“Creativity requires activity, and this is not good news to most of us. It makes us responsible, and we tend to hate that. You mean I have to do something in order to feel better?”
Or as Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” He's inviting us to try, believing or not.
The questions are always there; the whys and the wonders... I just have to keep moving. It's a journey, not a destination... not to be embarrassed about the quality of the work I'm doing now, but to know that if I'm working, I’ll get better, and be guided in the process.
If this wee artist in tiny Nelson, at the bottom of the world in lil’ New Zealand, gets herself out in creation and wanders and ponders... She discovers wonders inside and out, and finds rest for her angsty soul. I can recommend it.