This post ended up quite rambly. But, here we are. I’m feeling a bit lost, and hopefully you don’t mind that it shows. However, if you want to skip past the self-indulgent-nihilistic-reflection stuff (which I totally understand haha), just skip down to 'Choosing A Direction'.
A Soft Shift in Perspective
Something clicked around the time I posted last Sunday, and I don’t exactly know *how*.
There was this sudden realization - no, acceptance - in me that it doesn’t really matter, what I do. Not that the pessimistic nihilist in me thought it did matter before, and not that how my choices impact others doesn’t matter, but some part of me stopped raging against that not-mattering and accepted it just long enough to take a breath. Pausing just long enough to experience a sense of freedom, not just futility.
After trying to force it unsuccessfully for many months, I’m not sure why my perspective finally shifted. Maybe it just took time (the least actionable and most frustrating of answers). Certainly the possibility was allowed at all by the care of others near me, and by what I’m finally doing to care for my mind and body.
There’s this soft sense that I can live without needing to Do Great Things (not that I had done anything particularly great, but still felt some sense of obligation, that my living could only be justified by accomplishment). There’s this quiet suggestion that I can just Do Things and hopefully let go of whether it's right thing, or the best thing, or the most important thing I *can* do. And instead, just do and see.
This change is more than a little disconcerting (that desire for security through control, and control through knowing why, dammit) and I still really hope to make something worth the effort, things that give beneficial impact to people both now and after my lifetime.
But part of me has given up, loosened just a little, letting go of that idea. I don’t know if it will stick. I’m afraid that talking about it will undo it. And I don’t even know if I’m going in the right direction. But when you’re near the bottom, going in any direction is probably good?
Choosing A Direction
Something else clicked around last Thursday, and I started doing some portraits for RedditGetsDrawn again, a lovely community that helped me start painting more seriously a few years ago (before health problems and other responsibilities took me away from art for a time). My idea this week was to accomplish a small, as-simple-as-necessary portrait each day, simply for the purpose of making something without thinking about what I ‘should be’ doing, just for the sake of making something that I felt looked nice.
While I missed a couple days, eight so far isn’t bad!
If you’d like to see process videos, I did post one on youtube and there’s a couple more I’d like give a voice-over talking about the process, so maybe I can look into that this week. I’m looking at twitch streaming too, and running into repeated camera trouble, but will still look for solutions.
So this week, I hope to continue the daily portraits, finish reading my current book, do more writing (there’s a very limited-seating writing workshop that I’d love to apply for, which means finishing and polishing a short story to submit with my application), update my website gallery, try filming a voice-over again for one of last week’s painting videos, do a commission for a friend, and … ah, there’s still more on my mind and lists, but this list is already so much longer than I thought I would be, haha
Video of the Week! "in the search of inspiration and motivation" by Frannerd. Fran’s artist blog videos are always such a pleasure, and this video on her own current struggle with inspiration resonates because it’s so genuine and real and relevant to my own period in life. Not to mention, her illustration style and video editing are just absolutely lovely. Her work is part of my IRL inspiration wall :D
Book of the Week! If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland is a classic recommended to writers, but the advice easily translates to any form of creativity. It feels a bit like cheating to list this book here because I haven't finished it yet, but so far it’s brilliant and kindly reassuring, a tone which will probably stick the whole way through.
See you next week :)