Thursday, October 1, 2015

At The Risk Of Looking Foolish

Dynamic Tension
22 x 30
mixed media

When I was 11 years old I won a citywide essay contest. The competition was open to all grade school and high school students. My picture was in the paper, along with a little article. It was a big deal, for me and my family; a proud moment.

When we're young, our parents indulge and encourage our fantasies and escapades; but as we get closer to leaving home, they begin to pour the syrup of reality over our dreams.

"Yes, it's wonderful that you like to (fill in your dream), but how are you going to support yourself? It takes a lot of luck to succeed at..... Perhaps it's better you study (fill in your "responsible" career)." 

Any tangible commodity guaranteed to make you employable and your parents, once again, proud and happy. 
"Thank god she got over that!" 

Out into the world  you go, years pass and suddenly you're in a place of dissatisfaction. You have more time, your days aren't filled with busy activities and there it is - that nugget of self denial that has been living quietly inside you since you veered off of your creative path. 

Only now, that there is more space, more internal silence, the nugget feels like a boulder.

My husband and I were having this conversation last night; about the risk of looking foolish. In the halcyon days of childhood, looking and acting foolish was part of our play, but when you're in your 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond, the risk of looking foolish can be paralyzing. 

Which is why, we don't risk, instead we avoid that thing that made us feel so alive. 

We can change that. 

Where does your curiosity lead you? -
and follow that.

What makes you forget about time and space? -
and reach for that.  

What makes you forget your self?-
be that. 

Do you want to leave this plane with a smile, knowing that you allowed yourself to access that unique grace within you? That you LIVED your life on fire and fanned the flames.
Wow - seems the risk of looking foolish is a very small price to pay when it allows you to find that incredible lightness of grace that was planted in you the day you were born. 

This is how I want to spend my life - collaborating to the best of my ability with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand.
I can not think of a better way to pass my days. Elizabeth Gilbert; Big Magic 

I want that.  

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