|BTW 7 Oil/mixed media on paper 12x12" © 2017Janice Mason Steeves|
|BTW 2 Oil/mixed media on paper 12x12" © 2017 Janice Mason Steeves|
I'm so grateful to have pushed the "Publish" button. I received many beautiful personal emails written by people who had recently been through periods of personal illness, or members of their family had, and they had become the caretakers of those family members. Others wrote with similar stories about being pulled out of their studios and their creativity by life events. Like me, they worried that their creativity had dried up, never to return.
Many others offered advice. Some sent personal emails, some posted on Facebook, some made comments on my blog. Amazingly, much of the advice was the very advice I'd given my students when they went through dry periods. In fact some of my students wrote offering me my advice back!!! Ha! I guess I needed to hear it reflected back to me.
And others wrote to tell me just to be patient, that I'd gone through two big operations and I needed time to heal. They assured me that creativity was in my blood and my very makeup and that it couldn't possibly dry up.
One friend who is a well-known Canadian writer, wrote to tell me that she is also in a period of stasis. She suggested an exchange: that by Wednesday of this past week, she would send me two paragraphs that she'd written and that I send her a small painting or the beginnings of a larger one.
|BTW 4 Oil/mixed media on paper 12x12" © 2017 Janice Mason Steeves|
|BTW 5 Oil/mixed media on paper 12x12" © 2017 Janice Mason Steeves|
All in all, the responses energized me. It's as though a weight was lifted from my shoulders, as though I didn't have to bear this burden alone. But of course I do. It just felt as though I had some wind beneath my wings (to steal an image from a famous song). Soon afterward, I got back into my studio to work. I am working without thinking at whatever the hell I feel like working on.
"MY DEAL WITH THE CREATOR IS THIS: I'm dragging a sack of old worries, hurt, anger, doubt and fear up a long hill trying to get to the other side, to relief, to healing.
CREATOR SAYS: 'If you need a hand, I'm here. You pull and I'll push.'
I SAY: 'Really?'
CREATOR SAYS: ' I promise that I will always be there to help you. But there's a catch.'
I SAY: 'What's the catch?'
CREATOR SAYS: 'You have to pull first.'"
Richard Wagamese from the book, Embers