Digging for my Vein Of Gold

Cleveland County Sunset [10/365]

I wanted to start this journey off with a pleasant image, one that makes my heart sing because of the colours and feeling… and in this case, the memory of driving home and being struck by the beauty of the sunset. Here, I’m sharing this with you!

If you’ve been following the journey of this Creative Cluster, you probably have noticed that Di has been the most active in posting her work here. As for myself, the past few months of journeying have been very internal, and most of my Work went into my paper journal. However, after looking over what Vein Of Gold is asking of us, I can see that this is the point where I should begin sharing the Work I’ve been doing on myself – and as well, why I’ve been moved to do it.

I battle with depression, and I battle with my past and the scars it has left on me and my self-worth. Despite that, I have forged on, begun to heal, and I’m slowly creating an Artistic Life for myself in which I can find great joy. Julia Cameron’s books and my Creative Cluster have helped SO much with this effort, and I can only believe that this was how it was meant to go; I tried doing this Work years ago, and failed. I suspect it was because I was not ready – the chapters that needed to close had not yet done so. I don’t expect this process to stop anytime soon, because of course it took a lifetime to create the scars I carry. But this Work is like a healing balm, and not only can I see the difference in me [and my Clustermates!] but I can also see the gifts that the Work has brought to me.

I am grateful. I am determined. I am happy to take on this next book, and see what changes are to come!

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Ten things I cherish

  1. My husband’s unshakeable love.
  2. My cat Squeegee’s kisses, especially first thing in the morning, or when I’m feeling down.
  3. The beautiful, varied North Carolina countryside.
  4. The amazing, incredibly supportive and nurturing friendships that I have with my Artist’s Cluster, Melissa, and Maya.
  5. The new, improved close relationship that’s grown between my Mother and myself.
  6. The feeling of cool water on my face, best experienced when just waking up.
  7. My ability to magickally turn wool into yarn, then into a garment.
  8. Green growing things and how happy and complete they help me feel.
  9. Singing… LOUDLY.
  10. Driving anywhere by myself in my Jeeple. It is possibly the best time for me to really think about the important things.

Sometimes the seeds we plant take a while to sprout.

It can be so hard, sometimes. I’m not going to lie to you – the waiting, the dedication to lavishing needed attention on a potentiality that might or might not crack open to reveal the wonders of life – it gets tiring, it wears thin from time to time.

However, when the seed splits and the tiny sprout emerges, all that effort is rewarded and the magic once again takes hold – bringing forth something alive from a small, inert object… sparking an idea from a quiet, fertile mind.

I missed my Morning Pages twice so far this week, and I’ve not yet gone on an Artist’s Date nor a walk. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on the seed, not at all, and it doesn’t mean that the seed’s given up on me either.

Seeds are resilient things. Some have managed to last for thousands of years, yet still produce viable plants when given the right conditions. I never fear that my occasional distraction will cause my seeds to fail, because I know that as long as I believe in them, they will put forth green shoots that reach toward the sky when I am ready.

That being said, I think I know what my Artist’s Date for this week should be. I’ll report back and reveal if I was able to pull it off. I’ve got growing on the brain and I can see that this is a metaphor that needs me to immerse myself in it fully – in fact, it demands me to do so.

The Art of Perserverance? I think I can handle this.

Let’s begin again, begin the begin
Let’s begin again like martin luther zen
The mythology begins the begin
Answer me a question I can’t itemize
I can’t think clearly, look to me for reason
It’s not there, I can’t even rhyme in the begin

REM [begin the begin]

Here I am again, at Julia Cameron’s door – not literally, but through literature. I’m beginning another of her books in this New Year, as part of my ongoing commitment to the greater good of me, to the creative soul inside that deserves to be nurtured and aches to dazzle with new discoveries and creations. This time, the trip is through Finding Water, which has the subtitle of “The Art of Perserverance.” Anyone who knows me, knows that this is one thing at which I excel – some people have even called it “hard-headedness” or “Xiane’s bull-headed nature,” to which I grin and stick out my tongue.

The art of soldiering on, no matter what the world throws at me, will serve me well in this quest to constantly open up and become healthy and whole – indeed, it has already. The chapter for this week is entitled “Uncovering a Sense of Optimism” and this is a place that I’ve returned to time and again, with the unshakable faith of a child. I don’t know why it is that even in the midst of my depression, I’ve always had this need, this drive to look to the stars and hope, but I will not question it… I will celebrate it. I am lucky in this attitude, I suspect. Lucky because I think optimism is rarer than it should be, and lucky because this outlook has brought me many amazing opportunities. I don’t want to lose this feeling. I want it to grow and expand to encompass all that I do.

One thing I want to confess here: I have never had the background that some thwarted artists have, the one where the family doesn’t understand or support why you’re driven to create… or the one where they tell you that art is lovely but won’t pay the bills… or the one where they disparage what you do manage to create. My Mom might not adore or understand my art, but she has always supported my need to pursue it. Even when I decided to major in Theatre Arts in college, she supported my decision, even after I doomed myself to failure. One day I’ll make something for her that she squeals over and sets in a prominent place to admire, and until that day, I’ll keep making the things that my soul directs me to create.

JC points out that we are quite often our own wet blanket. That is true for me in that I often put off doing the creative things that could and would feed my soul. I never doubt that I can do them, but somehow I don’t manage to get around to doing them. I’ve made good inroads into changing this behaviour, and don’t doubt for a moment that I won’t be calling on my wonderful Support System of friends of family to give me a well-intentioned kick in the rear when I stall in the future!

So here it is, my inaugural post to kick off Finding Water. In a moment of synchronicity, I went out yesterday on a drive to locate where a local yoga studio had relocated. Instead of the studio, I found a resevoir. Coincidence? I think not.