“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
Artistic stagnation! Winter by the ocean. For months, I was in creative flow. Constantly inspired by nature around me; the ever-changing ocean and sky, surrounded and inspired by the abundant local artists and their art, galleries on every street corner. Then January arrived and January felt creatively uninspiring and uninspired. The days were shorter and darker, colder and rainier. I didn’t paint every day. I didn’t take as many photographs. At the same time, suddenly my relationships with people around me kept shifting, one after another, falling and lurching away rapidly, leaving me feeling alone.
So I had to keep letting go, letting go, letting go. I felt myself slowing down, coming to a full.stop. Before I realized it, I was slowly watching a lot more television. Instead of coming home at night excited to paint, I craved the pleasant numbing power of t.v. Well, it seems pleasant in the moment, but resurfacing from television watching is like shaking off a coma. You have to relearn how to integrate and interact with the world around you.
However, resting and rebuilding reserves is a need that can’t be denied. And sometimes, mid-winter is for just that…the time when you only want to crawl under the covers and curl up with the space heater and your private sorrows. Which makes me wonder – why do we have new years resolutions during the hardest time of year? Aren’t resolutions the hardest to keep up during the middle of winter? New Years resolutions should be during the time of year that really feels like the new year – Spring, when nature is blooming, hopeful, starting fresh.
But everything can be held lightly, not gripped and forced to conform to our desires. We can hold gently our fluctuating moods, our relationships, our creative inspirations. Know that, whatever it is, will pass, flow onward.
Instead of worrying about it, I just let go. Waited it out.
In February, it was hot. The sun was shining and yellow flowers sprung up in the garden. I felt movement. My energy flowing again. For a few brief days, in the sun, I went outside in a tank top. I knew waiting it out wouldn’t take too long. This is winter in California, after all.