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Monday, May 30, 2011

Child-like Matters

Firstly 
(and very foremost)
Thank you SO much for your cheers, your toasts, your prayers, and your air-punches.  I tell you true, YOU are a force of nature in my life, the encouragement that speeds me onto recovery and the delight that has me chomping at the bit to get back to this place.  

Secondly
(and very secondmost)
Let's have a chat.
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I've been collecting the first figments of ideas, scuffing about in the primordial soup of the ocean's edge, looking long and hard bits of flotsam, forgetting their species and genus but committing their wild curves to memory.  I've run my fingers over the ridges of barnacles, wondering what feeling would look like if the memory of touch was a physical object.  I've listened to the suck of tides on waterlogged sand, rocking slowly on my heels, seeing without asking too many questions.
I've walked slow in the woods, examining the perfect trilogy of fiddleheads unfurling, counting one, two, three.  I've eaten the first salmon berries like a guilty child, looking both ways up the trail before plucking their apricot-scented goodness and popping them in my mouth.
I've been thinking hard.
And I've been thinking not at all.
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And this is the root of the matter.
Growing is uncomfortable.
(Oh friends.  True confession.  Somedays I sit and sulk like a obdurate child UNDER my studio desk, with legs splayed out, convinced that this is the end, I may as well sell off every tool and brush I own as I've hit the end of my artistic career.  Thank GOD these fits are generally cut short by a fast run or a strong latté)
I've been working through ideas slowly, even for me.  I've taken myself out to all the right places, seen all the right sights and have tried my best to give myself permission to NOT think.  To not strain my eyes, to not stretch my heart, to not step into the woods with that ball of determination ripe in my stomach that says "Ok.  Look close. We're here, and clearly there is something we're supposed to see so be careful, don't miss it.  It's here, I just know, if we can just task ourselves to finding it then divine inspiration will be ours!"
Instead I'm trying to gift myself with the attention of a child.
This means sometimes I walk the forested trail too fast, forgetting entirely to notice the wild grapes and the mating calls of swallows before contentedly squatting on a busy street curb collecting purple eucalyptus pods to fill my pockets.  It means sometimes I go to the beach for an extraordinarily low tide and spend the whole time at the dune line playing with driftwood with my back to the waves.
It often means my outings do not go as planned, but in my heart of hearts I feel...

lighter.
softer.
quieter.

I might not have found the idea to trump all past ideas, but I am finding a certain contentment that seeps through my bones.
Filling the well if you will.
Turning down the volume on that inner driving force, the one who is so necessary but too often bullies with harsh demands and snide comments.  In turn trying to give the quiet if self-absorbed inner child space to just play.
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It's all progress.
It feels so important that our lives be not only documented by what we produced but by who we became.  I desire a wholistic life with every fiber of my being.

If you feel so inclined, please share:
How do you gift freedom to your inner child?

With open arms
~ Umber

10 comments:

Lindsey said...

I am a new follower of your blog and I think your work is AMAZING. I can relate with having moments of wanting to give up. I also do leather work and a little of almost every other craft and art. When sales are slow in my etsy shop (which is more often than not)it can get depressing but when it comes down to it I love working with my hands and have to remind myself of the pure joy i receive just from making. Just like when I was a kid. When you get older things get so much more complicated.
Keep at the things you love and if you ever need a break that is ok too.Your doing a wonderful job!

The Noisy Plume: said...

I let myself stay in bed, in the early morning, just to daydream. I do what I did yesterday -- lay about in tall grasses on the sides of mountains. I turn my computer off. I make popsicles. I handle worms. I drive Talulah barefoot. I live like time doesn't matter.

Sierra Keylin Jewelry said...

I head for the beach, dig holes in the sand, do handstands in the water, play in the waves, and run like a 5 year old into the ocean...it always brings a smile to my face, and it's addictive! Once I've enjoyed a few silly moments my whole energy has changed, I start realizing all that heavy stuff whirling around inside me, while necessary, is not all that I am...I have to remind myself to be light of heart! Oh, and that picture of the clovers is stunningly vibrant, I want to soak that color into my eyes, and maybe paint it on a wall in my bedroom!

cbumpmax said...

I blow bubbles with my two kidlins, watch and listen to their laughter, share in their discovery of how the world works.

pencilfox said...

i go out and pick grasses and dandelion leaves for my caged rabbit.
i sit in the adirondack chair and let the sun and heavenly grace pour over me.
i put on all my favourite jewelry pieces: ALL of them. at one time. pile them on.
i drink tea with honey and cream.
i eat gummy bears.

Cat said...

I like what The Plume said...live like time doesn't matter...thats gold
alone time
I give myself alone time
in this season as mother and wife, alone time releases me
I could be in a coffee house with a good book or my lap top
walking in the forest by the lake
walking on the dykes in the farm lands
breathe step breathe
no schedule
no requirements
no one needing something from me....

I also covet a night of good dancing till the wee hours of the morning accompanied by too much wine....lol...once in a while mamma needs to bust a move!!!

love and light lovely lady

Kathleen said...

I try to really ask myself do you want to do this? if the answer is no I do not.

LOVE:
Listening to the birds sing while I drink my morning coffee.

Playing music!

wandering the woods for some trinkets.

Taking a long run to just think .

I try to just do things that I love and know that the rest will fall into place.

mme. bookling said...

Just so you know, I read this a few days ago and it has been resonating in my brain since then. It reminds me of a few years ago when I told you that I think I needed less meaning in my life, and instead needed to indulge in a little oblivion. Sometimes I am so damn intense, so focused on extracting every detail out of every minutia that I forget how beautiful it is to stand back take in the whole picture...to let the world blur as I run past, to perfect the art of carelessness (literally- going back to a child-like existence of few cares).

Then I chuckle to myself, b/c even in my carelessness, I am being intentional.

I love your baby soul.

UmberDove said...

I feel like I need to make a book starting with these responses, a list of beautiful ideas on how to be intentionally unintentional.

Lindsey - Thank you so much for writing, for sharing, for relating!

Plume - Let's do all those things.

Sierra - If I could, I would send you whole BOXES of that forest oxalis (the clover guys). They are just. so. green.

CBump - And you go camping. And that makes me equal parts joyful and envious!

Pencilfox - I think that's one I need to add to the list: pile it ALL on. More and more. Yep. Necessary.

Cat - Yes Mama! Shake it! Sometimes that is so exactly what we need; move our bodies till all that emotional dust just falls to the floor.

Kathleen - Exactly. And it will.

Mme - I love your child right back.

thewindhover said...

you say it Umber and I love it...

I walk barefoot,
I write important notes with coloured pencils,
I make faces out of my salad,
I cling to an untrammeled optimism in humanity,
I lick my plate.
I sit in bed with a big pile of picture books on my knees.
I also wrestle for said books at the library with 4 year olds.
I pretend I am invisible.
I tuck flowers behind my ears.

xx