Friday, October 18, 2013

The City and the Wilderness

 charcoal and acrylic on paper by Heather Fox, 2013

“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself.” - Alan Alda

How true and timely is this sentiment. There is a great need, sharp like thirst, to carve out time to purposefully lose myself in some form of creative work. I find it centers me, brings me back to the present, and keeps me from becoming stressed by the what-ifs of the future. We find ourselves in this strange waiting place, not really being able to do much about our move, yet knowing everything will need to be done at once as soon as an offer is accepted. My family and I sit on the edge of flux, dipping our toes into the idea of what we want out of the next decade, but unable to really give weight to one option or another.

I used to believe you had to have a long range plan. Then I learned from others that kind of thinking traps and defines you. When the time comes to live out your grand plan, you make endless excuses not to go forward, reluctant to leave the city of your comfort. Maybe you feel the plan isn't so grand for you after all or regret never living for the present all of those years. Maybe you turned away from what could have been an amazing new path, for fear of failing or losing (imaginary) ground toward the big plan. I find life fits better when you make small immediate decisions, execute them as well as you can, and be equally delighted by the unexpected positive or negative changes. All works out in the end anyway and usually for the better. As long as the journey doesn't kill you, there is always a tomorrow.

Now, what will you do with your tomorrow? I'm going to a fall festival in the mountains and then to the big pumpkin patch, and possibly a waterfall picnic. The rest, the next big steps, will arrive when they are ready, and I won't boil the water for tea until they knock at my door.