Thursday, May 22, 2008

Long Journey Back

My Dear Blogger Friends,

I have to tell you that I’ve been on a long journey lately; not the kind of journey you normally think about with airline tickets, suit cases and romantic vacations, but on a journey of self discovery through the loss of hopes and dreams, the loss of creative expression.

During this time, my “passions” slowly died; leaving me feeling rather hopeless, but worse, an ever deepening loneliness began to take hold and suddenly I was faced with this empty feeling of being truly unhappy.

I wonder where I should begin. I wonder how I can keep this short enough so as not to lose your attention and cause you boredom. I suppose to tell you that in my ever deepening loneliness, a small fracture of light flickered in my spirit and it was this flicker that never died, but needled at me to stop fooling myself. To look deeper, to keep seeking, to keep writing and journaling, to find a way out of the place I had put myself.

My life has changed seriously over the last year and although change is supposed to be good for the soul, if the soul stops feeling, the changes can lead you down a path that your heart does not belong.

I’m not going to go into all the whys and how’s of these changes, but more to tell you that my spouse became seriously ill several years ago, became disabled - in this came the loss of hopes and dreams we had for our future. It was in the acceptance of these losses that I am now realizing that a person cannot lose sight of their own visions while caring for a family member.

I simplified my life, quit my job and envisioned my lifelong dream of owning my own business and how it would come to be. I knew I had the creative vision, the passion to put into it, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do this. What I did not know until just the past few weeks was that I had gone down the wrong path. I was not being true to myself or to my true creative vision. What I did wrong was I tried to change my artistic vision to those who phsycially touched my life, I tried to force myself to become something I am not.

In these realizations, I began researching who I used to be, where had I put myself, why had my passion died. I read and am still reading, The New Creative Artist by Nita Leland, Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam and Art Journals & Creative Healing by Sharon Soneff. I began a “Healing Journal” and quickly put to paper all that I had been reading about. I let the words flow, the art create itself, and the flicker in my spirit began to grow; however, the ever deepening loneliness did not leave.

It was this that seriously confused me so I was off to the web pages to find out more about loneliness and unhappiness in life. I paid a visit to our family physician. I wrote many emails to my sister and she kept me thinking about my creative side, my visions, my hopes and my dreams. I read many of your blogs and could feel your creativity stirring in my heart; I got hooked up with the Etsy Cottage Style website through 7 Rose Petal Path's blog, the entrapuneral spirit of my niece at All Nations Spirit Circle and in the mail I received a letter with an article attached from my cousin, Kathy, to take a look at the site, Make Mine Pink.

It all began to fall into place as I scanned my home environment; I looked at what was behind the closed cabinets, I glanced over my furniture, my pictures, and the angels over the doors. I took in the scents, the textures, the colors, especially in my creative space. I gathered up my magazines, my books, my saved articles and my idea files, the art I have from other artists. I began questioning myself on these things.

What is it about them that I love? Why do I love these things, why do I love these ideas? What passion does it spark in me? And it all began to pull itself around me like a soft worn blanket. I was a part of these vintage items, these soft worn textures, the mixed-media and cornucopia of buttons, fabrics, beaded handbags, and linens, crocheted and tatted doilies, antique glassware in soft pinks and greens, vintage perfume bottles, worn wire angels over the doorways…

…it struck me that I was not being true to myself; my artistic vision was on the wrong path. I had put so many of these wonderful vintage items away, behind the closed cabinets and tucked into drawers, I had taken many of these items off the walls, removed them from my furniture, repainted my walls the wrong colors – never realizing that I was putting a larger part of myself into storage as well. I had isolated myself, hence the loneliness grew deeper, the unhappiness enveloped me and I felt like an empty vessel.

I was lonely for my artistic vision. I was unhappy with myself for having closed the doors on my vintage collections. I was lonely for my creative spirit, the song in my soul, the passion I had always felt in my heart. The unhappiness was because I no longer reflected in my home, these very things that had created a balance in my life.

I love the feel of textures, the scent of paper, and the sight of vanilla candles flickering in a dark room. I love the romantic and vintage look of old beaded handbags, perfume bottles, glass butter churns filled with buttons, soft pinks and greens, depression era glassware, ribbons stringing from a vintage book, and old poetry written by long dead, but truly romantic poets.

When one is faced with serious changes, life altering experiences, a loss of some kind; it is important to stay true to our creative side, the artist that lives deep in our core. I can tell you from experience that it is a long journey back toward the creative life. The blocks of creativity come and go, and come again and then leave for long periods at a time and in this; the emptiness for one self becomes evident. It leaves a person with raw emotions, longings, and an ever deepening loneliness.

What happens next; well, my spirit is fully lit, my soul sings quietly, my heart feels passion growing. The loneliness is gone; the unhappiness is not an issue. Once I realized that I was on the wrong path, I began to function without a block in my creativity.

I can feel and see with a passionate vision. I am full of hopes and dreams. I am thankful for this wonderful community of artists that keep me in the loop and kept a light on their creativity so I would not lose my way. I am thankful for all the wonderful circumstances that kept my spirit flickering; the books, my sister, my cousin, my niece and the beauty of the web connecting us quickly to ideas and articles. For a prayer that filled my heart.

I am thankful for my spouse’s love, his gratitude in the face of his illness, his artistic vision that would not let mine die away. I am dedicated to my life with him; filled with new hopes and new dreams. I only hope he can get used to the romantic feel of vintage items filling the empty spaces in our home and once again hanging with gentle ribbons from our walls.

It is good to be home, to feel my creativity again. To know that a deepening loneliness can actually have a deep inner meaning not associated with severe depression but is simply due to allowing ones creative self to slip away.

Be True to Yourself, Angelina May 22, 2008


Joyce Lucas said...

Dear Angelina, My name is Joyce Lucas. I'm the founder of Make Mine Pink. I'd like to invite you to come join our forum and get to know the women behind MMP. I think you'll find a place you can come to share and be inspired.

I hope to see you there soon!

Susan said...

Welcome back. I pray all goes well for you.

Sabii Wabii said...

I've been stopping by and wondered where you were. I am very moved by your blog entry and how insightful it is. It is rather interesting because there have been a few friends who have and are going through similar renewing of there lives. I will pray for your continued growth.

Isabel said...

I got here via Jillian's Star Project and loved to read about your son's wonderful card and painting.And then I read this entry and thought you would enjoy reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
Talking about following one's dream he says "The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

Your star came out beautifully!