As a child, I used to listen to music on my headphones, and dream of being rescued by a firefighter (yeah, yeah, I know), who injured himself in doing so (weird, right?).
When I worked as an art conservator, I would dream of leaving at 3:00, and of someday living out my deeper desire of being an artist.
These days, I dream of many things, all day long: winning Art Battle; laying on a beach; kisses; sugar; skin-on-skin snuggles in bed, with some hot sex thrown in; nightly massages; having a solo show in a gallery in NYC or San Francisco; supporting myself through sales of my paintings, and live painting gigs; inspiring others to live a creative life and tap into their creative potential.
Single to married. Married to separated.
Babies’ sleeping routines, children’s eating habits, teenagers’ moods.
Anticipation of event, expectations dashed, disappointment, memories of what was.
Dad insists on walks that we don’t want to take. Dad insists on driving because he is no longer able to walk that far without pain.
Meet an amazing friend. She moves away.
First layer. Second layer. Colour on colour.
Mystery to friendship to interest to desire to sadness to loss to joy.
A wrinkle here, a sag there, another grey.
Sometimes I crave alone time. Then, when I have it, I crave connection.
In my solitary times, I tend to think I am “doing it wrong” – that I’m not using the time I have in the best way possible. Often, I’m not; I fall into predictable patterns of procrastination, time-wasting, and addictive habits. I have really good intentions around how to make the best use of my time alone, yet I rarely see these intentions becoming a reality. The same thing often happens in connection, too – I often feel that I am “missing something”, and not experiencing as deep a connection as is possible in that moment. Ah, the mind of a perfectionist! It seems I often want what I don’t have, which is the cause of suffering.
This is my work: accepting what is present before me, and allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. My solitary moments are particularly challenging for this. I recognize this challenge: the desire to feel, alongside the fear of feeling.
When I feel unsupported, my lower back aches.
When I am holding back what I want to say, my throat constricts.
When I am being a perfect perfectionist, my skin breaks out.
When I am insecure and feeling a lack of self-worth, I shut off feeling from the neck down. I’m working on opening this up, so I can access my body’s wisdom in this.
When I am ecstatic, my skin tingles, and my blood warms me.
When I am aroused, my skin shivers at the slightest touch.
When I am nervous, my cheeks flush.
My body listens. My body knows. My body never lies.