Coming Back From Lost

Coming Back From Lost

I've been lost.

I recently closed my store and moved everything out, not by my own choosing.

Leaving the most rewarding, fulfilling, joyful art arrangement I've ever had, just about shattered my spirit. But the owner of the building had other plans that came about suddenly, and there’s life for you.

It had taken me a while to get going in that store, then I got a handful of months of really great experience, with happy customers, where I gave them beautiful, personalized furniture art, and it was bliss. Everything was going in the right direction. So when the bomb dropped, it broke my heart to leave, but I didn't know it would be this level of excruciating.

For this past 3 months, I felt as bad as when my dad died :: bleak, gray, pointless. Like I had the complete setup for utter artistic joy and would never have it again.

I know, I sound spoiled, like - "Why can't you just make art on your kitchen table?"

Well, if you're a seamstress, or a watercolor artist, that's a great idea. But it's hard to paint a dresser in the kitchen, and I don't have a garage. And not to mention people live here, plus DOG HAIR everywhere...

So I gave furniture away, I sold a bunch, I've stacked some in my friends' basements, our shed, the living room and den, and my little home studio is toppling stacks of boxes and bags of supplies. Every day and night I tried to unpack, to make order out of all of it, to fit 2000 square feet of functioning space into 250 feet, and I just kept curling up into a ball and crying. It felt like the creative part of my life was over.

Now, I know this is completely a luxury problem. That most people on this planet don’t have enough to eat or basic healthcare or a safe place to sleep, never mind that most will never ever get a chance to live out their creative dream, so I realize getting a few months of it is a gift beyond measure.

And that truth still didn’t change the fact that as it was pulled away, the ripping sound was deafening.

I spoke openly about it with my trusted circle, and allowed them to love me and comfort me while I had nothing to give. Their unconditional support, listening, and loving, saved me. They let me feel all the grief I needed to feel, and that helped me take steps forward as I was ready. 

Then, last weekend.

It was warm and sunny, and I found myself digging out my paints, hunting down some brushes, and painting this set of wicker chairs, in this wickedly imperfect arrangement, outside fighting off mosquitos on my driveway. And it worked.

Everything is changed.

For me, I need to make art, to be able to breathe. I can’t explain that. It’s just how I am built. So finally I feel like myself again.

I’ve come to believe there just are dark times for all of us, that others may not understand. And as long as we stay tethered to people who love us, and are willing to ask for help, and if we can be that help for each other, we have a chance to live a life with some light to aim for.

May we lend each other our flame today.

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