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Sometimes I long to have a difficult project finished up and tied with a bow, or I long to have a particularly tricky season of motherhood on fast-forward so I can see that it turns out okay. I think I am imagining that the in-between time will be one of peace and reflection.

But the more I go along, the more I realize that in-between times don't really exist in the way I imagine. There are slower and quieter times, yes, but they still require putting one foot in front of the other.

For me, to put one foot in front of the other, I have trust the ground beneath my feet. Therefore, I find the time spent fostering a thoughtful devotion to the ground of my being is never wasted. Whatever that may be is probably different for each individual, but I would guess that it involves some piece of spiritual and/or psychological uncovering of what is beneath the surface of things.

A Rumi line has been repeating over and over in my head for the last few weeks:

That which you are seeking is also seeking you.

I often find that the spiritual and the creative are two drops of the same river, flowing in the same direction, and this line is speaking to my creative self in particular these days.

As I walk along the Creative Path, I may feel slow and unsteady and unsure of the direction or even where I am going. And yet, if I know that the thing that I am heading towards is running towards me, steady-footed, in the opposite direction, then I keep going. Trust the Path, first, I think. First and always.

So this is my message to me and anyone else like me, new on the Creative Path, or many years here and still unsure:

Just keep on going. "Just keep swimming," as Dory would say. One foot in front of the other. Toward the thing you Seek. Know that you will find each other one day, you and that which you Seek. And don't say I didn't warn you when you find out whatever you were looking for was here all along, nestled inside you like a Divine Spark.

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September has arrived, and the mornings have a feeling of change. The air is less heavy and the smells are shifting from the sweet smell of growth to something more restful. I want to say that I can smell the plants giving up their constant drive to grow and now they are softening into a period of quiet decay. Here is a time to rest.

Meanwhile, in my art practice, I am still preparing for my first, small exhibit. This time next month, I will be delivering work to the Emporium Art Center, a beautiful, three-story gallery on the 100 block of Gay Street, where two white walls will get filled with all the art they can handle. Somehow, I have gone from zero finished artwork to too many finished artworks to fit into the exhibit space. I am curious about when and how this happened. Was it blind panic that propelled me to finish so many pieces? Or would the pieces have been finished even without the panic? That information would be worth knowing for the next time that I sign up for a show as I don't much like that feeling of panic.

This question and many others are swirling around in my head as I check off the final work parts of this exhibit. The work will need to be photographed (not my forte) and framed, priced and named. I hope that I can take advantage of a pause between this exhibit and my next projects to reflect on the lessons that I learned about myself and the creative process as well as this new piece of art for me: putting art into the world.

One thing I know about myself is that I enjoy doing things slowly and quietly, and I think that perhaps this blog will serve as a landing place for some of my reflections in the month ahead as it offers a quiet and slow way for me to unwind the threads of the creative path through tiny thoughts in quiet moments.

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I have been thinking about "thinking" as I have tried to write about my art for my first ever (gasp) art exhibit.

Thinking about art is definitely not the same thing as making art, and that is a good thing. If art were only about thinking, then all art might look something like Maurizio Cattelan's "Comedian"-the 2019 Art Basel piece that is a banana duct-taped to a gallery wall. A banana duct-taped to a gallery wall is so funny and definitely a great comment on much of contemporary art's capitalist machine, but I am so grateful for the art out there that takes my breath away. I am so grateful for the artists who have taken their time to skillfully render an ineffable visual scene that makes me feel something.

For me, these past few years of learning skills and techniques around both painting and drawing have been a steady stream of activity. Practicing drawing long, loose lines is something that I have done almost every day this year. The process of mixing paints together and then applying them to a canvas with a brush doesn't happen in my mind--it happens in the studio. Art is made only through embodiment and effort.

I am grateful to be at this stage where I have gathered up the work of 2022 and am now taking some time to reflect on it. But at the same time, I am glad that I did not overthink it while I was creating. Don't get me wrong-I do love thinking about my art. I have all of these ideas about what art and art-making means to me as well as specific ideas about different work. But those ideas are all part of my narrative, and I am not sure that they add much to the art once the art is complete and ready for a wall. My hope is that the more important things I think and feel as I create art are somehow baked into the finished product. I think what I am trying to say is that my favorite part of art is the ineffable, both on the creating end and the receiving end.

The creative path calls us forward toward an unknown place that we have never been before. And dedication to any journey like this requires a certain amount of trust, unknowing and letting go.

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