Lion’s Tail, Azalea, Alstroemeria, Hydrangea, Osteospermum, Dianthus, Scabiosa
Creative stagnancy-this is the shadow music that has been playing itself loud and clear these past weeks. I have ideas, in fact I have come up with several art projects or writing topics, and good ones too. Ones that in the past I would have jumped on and gotten to. These ideas cycle through my head and sometimes get written down on paper, but after that nada. Now I have little pieces of paper scattered all around my home, ideas begun but left incomplete. And like any recipe a person endeavors to create, if you don’t complete all the steps, there ain’t no pie for dessert.
I really want my dessert. Getting a handle on my addictions has had an inverse relationship to my creative output. I was truly the tortured artist who produced copious amounts of work while under the influence of this, that or the other. Now that I have been living life with more balance (I have not become a nun, I assure you), it’s been difficult to access that passion that jump started my limbs to make, create, do. It’s there, but it’s roaming around without a compass. “Which way is writing?” it says. “Which way to free form art?” So it goes around in circles, bumping inside me. And the longer it moves without direction, without release, the greater the pressure build.
Stagnancy makes me prone to triggers. With so much pent up energy and emotion, the smallest thing makes me irritated, while bigger things push me over the edge. In fact, the whole experience of stagnancy is actually not stagnant, as I have come close to blowing my lid a few times. Writing and creating art, this is half of what keeps me sane. The longer I wait to initiate, the harder it feels to start. Like putting off homework or exercise. The initial period of just doing it is excruciating.
I need my compass calibrated. Any compass calibrators out there looking for a job?
Yet I think…as I redefine my life on different terms than I have lived previously, perhaps my compass will magically calibrate on its own? Is it not new patterns that are established once those that no longer serve are let go? Does this not take time to create and become comfortable with? So perhaps my stagnancy is really just transition, which can feel pretty lousy as neither the old or the new is firmly in place. Like being pregnant or planting seeds in a garden. Growth that happens on the inside, not yet manifest in the external world. In fact, being in transition is one of the final phases before birth actually takes place, and is one of the most painful. We are living beings after all, nothing is ever permanent or without movement. Change is inevitable. Even as I write this, I see a tiny, faint arrow beginning to appear on my compass. It’s flickering and flashing, becoming stronger with each word I write and each moment I take to continue, stay with it, not give up. I have needed to remember this! I don’t think I will need that compass calibrator after all.
Photography by April Aronoff