Well, on this 27th day of July, 2014, I have to come clean on a few things:
Not only did I not follow-through on my 'Meditations in Nature' project for the month of July (post below) where I situate myself within a natural setting for an hour a day but in fact, I sat outside only twice in an entire month. Not 27 times like I should have by now, twice. In a month where only a single day has had temperatures above 85F I have two meditation sessions and only a single blog entry. Believe me, I have plenty of excuses and reasons why it did not happen but none actually matter or are worth explaining. Fact of the matter is, I am not capable of keeping a commitment to myself right now. Times are rough and though my free time flows freer than it has in close to eight years, I flaked. It is not the first thing to fall to the wayside and it will not be the last.
Why am I composing this admission on a blog? I could have deleted the previous entry altogether to pretend like I did not have the intention to commit 31 days to nature (or commit to anything for that matter) and move on. I do not have anyone to keep me accountable for late work or lack of follow-through on a creative endeavor. Grad school is over. I have myself and its time to lay the hammer down on my newfound "independent artist" status. Showing up is the first step, gal pal.
In an attempt to process this highly uncertain and terrifying time of life: I must express myself in a format that is raw, live, and mostly uncensored to document the evolution from hopeless MFA graduate considering chiropractic school to the next phase. Right now, I am thirty years old, unemployed and living with my parents in my childhood home. I have a partner and two dogs who are all in tow relocated to a smallish town outside of the Twin Cities. I have no idea what is coming next in my professional life which might be exciting but also causes me stomach anxiety. After turning down a secure and salaried job immediately before moving to MN, I question what I really want as an artist and a functioning human.
A friend tagged me in a FB post where you are supposed to say three positive things for the next five days. I found it ironic that the challenge arose during a time when all seems lost and confused so I am going to rise to the challenge and think positively. So even though I let myself down this month, I have also gained some things:
1). I have spent the month consciously contemplating the natural world. Which, it turns out is not "in the woods" or a long drive up north but 2.5 feet from the table where I sit. Twelve inches beneath the carpeting and foundation beneath my toes. Though a simple and obvious statement, I have just realized that nature is around me all the time. Though I lament the very unnatural landscaping and asphalt roads I am not ever without nature or the natural world. Nature follows me, even in a metropolitan area is the state of nature that goes along with industrialized human life. I have to accept it and celebrate its somewhat successful triumph to exist amidst and in spite of human's thoughtless destruction. (I said I was working on positivity, not that I have arrived yet). Finding authentic "nature" was one of the obstacles in the Meditations in Nature project. I only had to open a window or sit on the front step to immerse myself and observe the natural world.
2). Sharing nightly meals with your parents is great. I am grateful to have the Summer to share meals and time with my parents. Having spent only sporadic time with them over the past couple years during visits home or to AZ, I have gotten to sink into the everyday comfort of knowing them once again.
3). Sleep cures all worry. No matter how stressed or panicked I feel, I can always find respite in deep, restorative sleep. With only a few morning obligations per week these days, I fall asleep when i'm tired and wake when my body says it's time to. Good bye alarm sounds. During graduate school sleep was limited and came at the cost of grief because every extra hour of sleep was an hour of neglected work time. Hourray for connecting to my body clock!
I want to conclude my entries with an idea (of which I have many right now) that might be developed into something substantial or maybe not, but now it lives outside my self and floats in the ether. Idea of the day:
Twin Cities Teaching Artist Collective: Annual conference and monthly meetings of teaching artists of any and all arts disciplines to share, gripe, greet and learn from each other's experience.