Catching Up

A Simple Prayer for Remembering the Motherlode

We do not become healers.
We came as healers. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become storytellers.
We came as carriers of the stories
we and our ancestors actually lived. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are.
Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not become writers.. dancers.. musicians.. helpers.. peacemakers. We came as such. We are.

Some of us are still catching up to what we are.
We do not learn to love in this sense.
We came as Love. We are Love.
Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes,

 

Somewhere along the way, I decided to pick up a paintbrush. It was early days, and we were all at home. Some baked bread, others binged on Netflix. I did both and also, for some reason, picked up a paintbrush.

Watercolour was my medium of choice. As a child, I came into possession of a worn and dog-eared book about watercolour and spent quiet hours making art. Then, as now, my creations were nothing spectacular—satisfactory if anything—but I enjoyed the process of creating.

I lost my desire to make art in school when I compared my efforts to that of other students and always, in my mind, came up short. I had no artistic talent, I told myself, and, for a long, long time I believed that to be true.

The act of creating takes many different forms and I fell easily into expressing myself through words, eventually becoming brave enough to call myself a writer. Gardening, became another creative outlet, as did photography, and in these latter years of my life, I embrace a creative lifestyle that seems to fit me well.

So, in 2020, I began to dabble in watercolour, taking online classes, reading books, and occasionally creating something I was satisfied with. Late last year, in preparation for Laurinda and Makiya coming to stay with us, I packed up my art supplies and tucked them away for another day. It was a different season.

But, something drew me back to painting, and early this year I decided to try my hand with acrylics. Again, I signed up for classes, read books, and camped on YouTube to take in as much information as I could about how to use the new paints I purchased—this time, painting on my kitchen counter instead of in the quiet of my woman cave. Also again, I learned to create paintings I was reasonably satisfied with, and a whole bunch of them that I wasn’t.

Last Friday, I started a short 8-day class with artist Louise Fletcher called Finding Your Joy. I had no idea what to expect when I signed up, but anything that might help me find my joy after the trainwreck of the past two years seemed like it would be time well spent.

The first exercise almost brought me to tears and I can’t quite explain why other than to say it seemed I was given—and accepted—the freedom to create with no expectations and a bubble of something within me was released through paint. This is what I painted for that first exercise. It looks like nothing I’ve ever done before but there’s something about it that sparks immense joy and makes me feel strong.

This morning the assignment was to paint something we would normally paint using colours and tools we wouldn’t normally choose. Using palette knives, a fork, spoon, bottle caps, and a sponge, I quickly deviated away from the “something I would normally paint” into uncharted territory and something else that was buried within bubbled out onto the canvas. Again, I felt emotional in the act of creating and was prompted to include my own fingerprint in the work.

All this to say—what? That at 63, I’m still catching up to who I am?

Perhaps.

Likely.

And, do you know what?

It’s really quite amazing.

signature-fonts

I’m a writer, reader, photographer, and gardener. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
4 comments
  1. You are like a spring flower, Linda, unfolding before us the colors you feel inside yourself. I’m not good with paints, and not as good as many others with words, but I am an “enjoyer” of the work of others’ hands. Especially yours, whether they’re typing or painting.

  2. Linda, I think these are very joyous prints. Keep going my friend.

    1. Thank you!

  3. Oh my goodness, you ARE a creative and your paintings are stunning!!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.