With a house as cluttered as the inside of my head, I've had an incessant feeling that I'm spinning in circles, getting nowhere. Everything for my current projects has been sitting out, no place to put anything away, projects piled on projects, all vying for attention, so I spent the past 3 days of my holiday break cleaning out closets, reorganizing.
The box in the photo is full of craft supplies from old projects and whimsical things I bought to several years ago-- finger paints, feathers, colored modeling clay and sequined princess crowns-- all to infuse my artistic life, and life in general, with more playful creativity. I've come to the place where I'm ready to part with these, to pass them along to someone else. My art and music are happening freely. I'm happy with the directions things are taking. If the time comes again when I need to resupply, I'll have room to go out and buy new things chosen for the present.
I cleaned out the closet in my studio/office so I can have materials close at hand for sending out mailings. Also, cleared a big space in the bottom of the closet to store 2 small rolling file cabinets, one for my current songwriting files, the other for research/writing files for the growing book/workshop project. This will get them out of the middle of the living room and guestroom. I find that having projects in portable boxes or light-weight rolling file cabinets helps me to take things out when I'm working on them, and put them away when I'm not. That's the vision, the ideal.
Feels good to make my surrounding better reflect where my life is headed right now, to clear away the thick residue of years past. I'm hoping all this work will make my surroundings, and my insides, feel more serene and help me to reach my goals.
Sometimes a new beginning arrives disguised as a dramatic letdown. I've learned that bouncing back is essential to sustaining a creative life.
I found myself drooping today, like the dozen, wilted, long-stemmed red roses in a tall vase on my kitchen counter, standing with their heads bowed. These roses were a gift, received last Friday as reminder of love, constant through failure and success alike. Sad, beautiful, comforting roses.
Not quite ready to part with them, I trimmed them from their stems, nestled the unfolding flowers in a shallow bowl of water.
Disappointment, too, can be transformed.
By trimming the useful and beautiful bits of an experience from those that are not, I can nestle them safely within, until the time is right to move on.
Yesterday, I made a big pot of potato soup. I do this with a spirit of mindfulness, present in the moment, enjoying the process. Potato soup is my comfort food of choice.
There's something good for the soul in the simplicity of cutting up onions, slicing celery, peeling and chopping potatoes, crumbling homegrown lovage and tarragon into the pot, adding a pinch of pepper from my palm, watching thick squares of butter melt across the surface, then swirling in clouds of milk. No need to measure ingredients, just like my grandmother and her Irish grandmother before her.
At our house, it's served up in blue and white enamelware soup bowls, bought at an old general store in Vermont many years back, toast with raspberry jam on the side.
Kay is a multi-dimensional performing songwriter, visual artist, writer, educator and activist whose work embodies a message of hope, healing and humanity.
When she isn't traveling to perform, present workshops or show her artwork, Kay lives a quiet little life in a Mystical corner of southern New England.