Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweet Fruit

Gris-Gris contemplating his navel.
"So that's your prompt for today- what do you believe in? what's your dream? what do you know for sure?" (From "What Kate Did Next", an inspiring blog on the writing process by Kate Lord Brown.)
I believe that by living simply, I can better understand the larger truths. For me, it takes a certain inner peace and order to allow me mental clarity, and my life as an artist and teacher is anything but orderly. If I compound the clutter of my physical environment with a cluttered and stressful schedule, my mind gets lost in the fallout; I spend my time fixing and restoring rather than creating and dreaming.
Since meeting and falling in love with Peter, who is equally creative and cluttered, I have walked a thin line, balancing the excesses of our combined imaginations with the excesses of our combined households. We do not like to do monotonous, repetitive tasks. This includes simple household tasks, though we do them (of course) out of necessity.
It seems to me that by living a more rural life, combining interesting, non-repetitive labor with our "creative" work, we can lessen our need for physical objects or our psychological dependence upon our "things". We can focus and utilize our skills, be stimulated by the world we live in, and lead a more positive and satisfying life.
I keep saying "we"; I wouldn't impose my desires upon Peter, though I would certainly share my ideas. Just sayin'.
So, MY dream is to have a simpler life, and to work on a farm. I'm living that dream, bringing it closer to fruition each day as I simplify my life and my environment. It's a process, not an epiphany. This is the fruit of my accumulating years; as I ease into my 50's and begin to have an eye on retiring from my teaching profession, which has been my professional backbone for 23 years, I feel the need to reinvent myself...gradually. And to do it with honest, self actualized vigor.
My UBER-dream is to own a small farm, though at this point I'm struggling with the dream vs. the reality of my own aging body and our combined meager bank accounts. If some miracle occurred and we were able to buy a little farm with a few goats and chickens, I'd try it in a heartbeat. Arthritis and carpal tunnel be damned...I'd work through the pain to achieve that goal. Would I still have time to dream and paint? I don't know, but I suspect I would if I got the balance right. Not too many animals, not too much maintenance, not too many outside distractions.
What do I know for sure? I know I am infinitely creative. I know I have a loving and supportive husband and a few excellent friends. I know that I want to have a meaningful life that contributes to a better world and helps others. I know that I want to have more time for my extended family. I know that I don't have the energy I had in my teens, when I tried this life before, though my coping skills, financial base, life experiences and self-actualization skills have improved tremendously. Funny how those attributes have grown in inverse proportion to my physical beauty! We ripen. Maybe the best grapes are actually raisins. Or at least over-ripe, sun-sweet fruit!
I have a little prayer that I composed, which I recite internally in times of need or change. This is it: "Dear God, Goddess, Powers-That-Be: Please center me. Through the nurturing of the earth, the directionality of the air, the transformative properties of fire, and the power of water, guide me, strengthen me, and make me whole. Bring me home." I haven't said it to myself in awhile, but I often did, before I found the farm where I tend the goat herd now (which feels so natural and good to me). It helps me still my mind and listen to my inner voices, which are always honest. It brings me peace.
Thanks, Kate. Good prompt.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandy - beautiful post, I'm glad the prompt was helpful. Yes, also seem to spend my days fire-fighting the daily chaos of children, animals, DH :) Hope your dreams come true.