The Artist’s Way | Happening Upon Demons
Sorry to have abandoned you fellow travelers. I won’t say it was laziness or lack of time or busyness that halted progress. Inevitably I bumped up against the naked skulls of my inner demons and I wasn’t ready for it so soon. When we see what is, it means work. It means doing something about what we’ve seen. Committing to 12 weeks of writing and going on dates with my artist self and digging and poking in the mud of the psyche — these things I was prepared for. Foolishly I thought it would be an easy journey. I saw it as an upward journey; take the steps one in front of the other and reach the summit at sunrise. I expected fluttering openings like so many butterflies emerging, transformations from the mundane to the exquisite.
What I got, what I found, were bones.
I walked into the journey thinking I would uncover a quaint creativity. It was, after all, what I’ve always been taught about creativity. I thought I would discover the strength to take my writing more seriously, maybe write a book after all. I thought I would rediscover chalky pastel drawings that I could create and collect, perhaps frame a few or turn them into greeting cards and give them as gifts to friends and family.
I did not expect to find the bones of my long-haired, bare-footed self full of mystery and polished rocks and moss in her pockets. I did not expect to see the landscape of my life shift before my eyes. I did not expect to meet my cackling crone. I did not expect sadness and rage. I did not expect that I would be shoved so forcefully into dissatisfaction with the life I’ve accepted.
I am not a butterfly emerging with damp wings into sunlight. I am a collection of women, young to old, pushing against walls, gnawing at limbs to escape steely-teethed traps, screaming at the bottom of a pit, shooting rocks into the red eyes of predators with a slingshot. All of it rumbling from the core, sending shock-waves to the surface of my life.
It is not a quaint creativity in me just waiting to be gently dusted off. What it is exactly I cannot say except that it is hungry and large and untamed and certainly not ready to come to the table to engage in polite conversation and keep its elbows off the table.
And that is why I haven’t checked in. What is and what wants to be are at war, and I’m unclear who will emerge alive from the battle.