As a young girl I would sit up in the well pruned grapefruit tree that grew outside my bedroom window and ponder, Who am I? What is all of this? These were natural questions for me, it was my nature to think this way, just like it was of the roundness and yellow color of the grapefruits ripening around me, while I sat on my private perch. I would take my drawing book and my dolls or my plastic horses there with me. I would settle into the woody crotch of a limb and spend time imagining my life, creating stories, feeling my hurts, feeling alone, wondering about where I came from, looking within and around me for answers. It was the work I had to do. I needed to understand and seek deeply.
I fondly think back to being 9 or 10 feeling my place in that tree, in my retreat when I was confused and felt unloved. And now so many years later I am here in my studio, no longer in that sacred tree. My studio is an annex of our garage built on the edge of a vineyard. Outside the window I can hear the water of the patio fountain as it washes away the silence. When they want to, the crows fly by with the occasional hawk and vulture. Here I can be me and take the time to look within. That voice that is loud and clear resounds here through the window and inside the walls. It is the same voice but it sits on a shoulder of a matured woman now creating my own sculptures and other art works while I ponder and ponder.
I have found many of my own answers and many more questions as I spend time in quiet like in my tree or now in my studio and of them all I think the most important answer is that this is the work we all must do, and simply, it never ends. This is all of our work. In the midst of what ever we are involved in whether our employment, the caring of family, sports activities or exotic vacations we must also spend time looking within. Coming to know ourselves, how we respond to situations, what we feel deep in our hearts, how we are hurt and how we hurt others is what we all need to learn about. It is the most important work. We all must find our way that helps us to look deeply into the darkness of shrouded truths as well as around the bend to the light of dawn breaking. This is how we learn compassion for ourselves and others and come to know what we can give and how we can grow. This is how we find balance and happiness.
For me as I reflect upon the years my way has included praying through creativity to come to know my world and myself more intimately. I recognize that now. As when I was a child playing with my toys, that play was like a prayer to have a deeper understanding. And now as I look at my creative life the things that I have worked on have all been prayers. These are not prayers to anyone but prayers to life, to the universe, to my heart, to foster growth and understanding. Creativity has been a powerful path for me allowing me to express my dreams, feel my wounds and ask my questions.
If you are reading this blog passage that I have written are you thinking of how you look within? Are you thinking about how you have not done that for a while? Do you also realize that this is really our most important work? Are you saying, I have to find that place where I can be quiet, where I can listen deeply, where I can create, where I can ask questions and find answers and more questions? If you are, then you are doing it, you are doing the work.........the work we all must do, keep it up..........