Switching Gears

Sometimes we set our minds on a long-term goal and work our hardest towards it — planning, starting to set things in motion, setting our sights on a vision or a dream.  Then somewhere along the way, despite our determination, we are forced to switch gears.  Maybe because our circumstances changed, or things just didn’t fall into place as we had thought they would.

Then we realize they did fall into place, and much as it turned out totally different from what we thought early on it would be, we switch gears, we adapt.

We bow our heads in guilt and shame and just accept that we were wrong.  It is not always easy.  Sometimes it feels like it will be a forever struggle that we must mask with a smile, and an unrelenting effort to focus on the happy.  Forgiveness is scarce — forgiving others as much as forgiving ourselves can be such a challenge.

Sometimes people just disappear or let go — and try as we might to call them back, even the staunchest of hearts eventually accepts the reality that sometimes, you really have to just accept that it is what it is.  So again you switch gears.

You learn to work things out alone.  The chatter dies down.  The pain remains, but the whispering stops.  And with the silence, somehow the pain starts to have a numb edge.  It doesn’t go, but it transforms itself to a lump instead of a blade the keeps cutting your soul to pieces.

Then you switch gears yet again.

My Art, My Altered Book

My Altered Book: Multi-page layout - Flower spread up close

My screensaver these days here at home is a simple black and white square graphic of some inspiring words from Kurt Vonnegut:

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it.”

Indeed.  So I keep trying.  I am actually setting to put this quote on a mini-canvass and put it up on my desk.  Coming soon.

I’ve been working on my altered book which has been on a semi-break most of the previous week.  I was busy trying to catch up with the Artist Trading Card (ATC)  swaps and work has totally exhausted me at the end of the day.  I even left the book at home most days knowing I wouldn’t have the energy nor the time to do any work on it.

I’ve made up the last two nights, creating this multi-page doodled flower.  It’s been tricky cutting the pages but I figured I can always trim it smoother.  The layout is not quite finished but I’ve worked down to the final two-spread background page.  I just need to finish the doodled petals.  I’ve also switched to using Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers instead of my usual V5 signpens.  I’ve noticed that the signpen ink doesn’t dry completely when written over acrylic paint, and so far, the sharpie permanent marker has not stained the other page it closes against.

I have been making progress and I know I’ve been saying that I will start journaling and writing my happy stories, but I haven’t had the chance just yet.  That’s one reason the section devoted to my altered book here in the blog has lain dormant.