This is a hard one. One of my unfinished projects this year was to return to my studio to paint and draw again. I want to paint and draw again, yet I walk through my studio each day and see the dust and cat hair collecting on my easel, paint brushes and paints. I admit when I read about others taking painting classes and using oil paints, my heart begins to swoon and yearn for that magic of standing before my easel watching my heart unfold. I love the smell of oil paint and what you can do with encaustic and oil stick. I love to draw a line with deep black charcoal, soft and crumbling, over thick velvety BFK Rives pure cotton rag paper from France.
I have not painted since D died over 2 years ago now. I am not sure why so much time has passed. At first it was the grief and the overwhelming amount of energy, both physically and mentally, it took out of me for months months, stretching out beyond a year. Now other pursuits and creative outlets have filled in those spaces and holes left by the absence of D.
Many things changed in my life when he died, not only painting, but my friends and a whole support community that was once my backbone was released, and I went into another direction. In some ways all those things from my past my life with D were too unbearable and painful, I could not breathe. Now a whole new life has filled in those spaces.
How has it become a habit to walk through my painting studio on the way to my writing space every day, multiple times a day? I admit I tell myself each day, I will paint again. I will pick up my charcoal and litho crayons again. I told myself at the beginning of 2014, this year the distance from the death was long enough. Yet here I sit in the early darkness of December and I have yet to make movement toward this space.
So yes, I release the project of painting again this year. I release the guilt and shame for not using these tools and talents I have. I release the woman I was who was grieving so deep and doing the best she could to keep breathing each day after she lost her partner and father of her son. I hold my hands over my heart, I close my eyes, I stand still and let myself forgive and release.
This post is a response to Kat Mcnally’s Reverb14