If We’re Lucky…

 

 

Rain. You may be up to your ears in it (or snow), but we’re not. So a cloudy sky holds promise. If we’re lucky. I start thinking about possibilities. I cross my fingers. I consider dancing.

 

But for whatever reason, I don’t have it in me to dance right now. If I blame the lack of rain, I’m lying to myself. For there’s some sort of psychic weight holding me down today. Some sort of uncertainty is keeping me from soaring. Maybe it’s natural bio-rhythms. Maybe it’s low blood sugar.

 

The truth is, some days just feel like this. They hold the same promise as others, and yet I find myself unable to rise to the gifts of those precious 24 hours. Part of me wants to bounce off the walls and smile so much my face hurts. Another part of me wants to hide in the closet, like I did when I was about 10 years old. At that time, I went so far as to set up a sleeping bag and an entire nesting spot in my closet at the house on Westchester Drive. For months I slept in my closet. It was small and it was safe. It was also extremely isolated and solitary. I’m not able to revisit the kid-me to understand what drove me to that little cave. My adult thoughts of hiding are no less mysterious. I’m sure I could dig around in my psyche and come to some sort of self-knowledge on the subject, but I don’t really want to. That part of me is dark and murky. Those corners of my mental storage frighten me. Yes, there are truths hidden in that darkness, but I’m not quite brave enough to venture into my void, hand in front of me to keep me from running into – into what? Nope, not quite brave enough.

 

So as I sit here writing about the parts of me I tend to hide, I hear Florence + The Machine playing in another room… “And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off…

 

I can try. Standing is the first step…

So Many Possibilities…

“White. A blank page of canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities.”

Sunday in the Park With George

music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine

 

 

 

Ah, the New Year. Once again it is shining before me, inviting me to make plans. To dream. To aspire. To create.

 

I don’t remember when I hit the age of seeing each New Year this way. I’m certain I didn’t pay much attention to it as a child. I doubt my younger self was reflective or sentimental about each New Year. I can’t imagine I ever teared up at the very gift of waking to a day such as this, back when I was a kid.

 

But I am at that age. I do recognize the blessings of waking to this day. And, heaven help me, I do make plans and I do aspire.

 

And on that note, Mister and I are working out some details for a 2014 challenge. (We were inspired to give ourselves a weekly challenge after following the blog of an ex-pat, living in the UK. It’s a great blog and I highly recommend it.) Parameters and guidelines are still being solidified, but our basic goal is to actively create something artistic, each week of the year. That’s a broad endeavor, and can range from cooking a gourmet meal to going on a photo expedition to reciting a Shakespeare play. We’ve tossed out a multitude of creative ideas, and we’re revved about the possibilities. We’ve not limited ourselves with any rules such as no repeating an act, so there may be multiple photo sessions over the course of the year. (There may be multiples of other creative acts, too. We’ll just have to see how it goes.) As I said, we’re still hammering out the guidelines.

 

We’ve decided to include others in these acts of creation. Over time, our group of friends has come to include musicians, painters, singers, songwriters, comics, actors, sculptors, designers, engineers, chefs, dancers and on and on and on. Art can be found in just about every single vocation on the planet. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. I know accountants who are amazingly creative. I know electricians whose work can be described as nothing less than art. Creativity is all around us, and we think the inclusion of our creative friends can only serve to elevate this little challenge of ours. We’re hoping we can all take a turn at stepping outside our milieus. That we can broaden our creative circles. Speaking for myself, I’m super-excited to try some new-to-me activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my little world, there are many challenges ahead. My rose-colored glasses haven’t shielded my eyes from the truths of life, or from the work that surely lies in store over the next few months. Certain hills are going to be steep. But we’ve got to climb in life. Sometimes there’s just no going around. If I can tell you anything at all about the very little I’ve managed to learn of this living thing, it is this: after climbing to the top of any of life’s hills, the view is spectacular. And so very full of possibility.