This past week I was fortunate enough to spend a few days away on a personal art retreat. I don’t go exclusively to get away from anything (although the soundtrack of my life is rarely conducive to any creative pursuits ) rather I go away to access a different path to my heart. Sometimes what I need is solitude. There is something about being alone that rejuvenates my spirit. I have found a home away from home in Southwest Washington. Sometimes what I need is creative company. For that purpose, I discovered this gem.
As I sat down to write this, I went looking for a few notes I had written over the course of this past week. Just a few things I had jotted down so I wouldn’t forget. You know what ? I can’t find them anywhere. I have torn apart all things paper-ish in my world and those scribbles are nowhere to be found. It isn’t the first time this has happened to me. It seems to be happening more and more frequently. This morning I have to admit it worries me, and that’s to say nothing of how annoyed I am to have these little dots of light as reminders of what I wanted to share, go missing.
The thing I most clearly wanted to remember was the movement of the sky. How light seemed to dance across this azure and cool-tones stage and how the wind was always swirling. You can’t help but be aware that something is always blowing in and something always blowing away. There’s quite a profound message in that. It feels metaphorically accurate and beautiful. It is life. It is the impermanence of it. It reminds me to cherish the moments I am in because with every turn of those kaleidoscope skies everything is altered. Everything changes. The moments we are in, the feelings we seem so swallowed up by, they will never be exactly as they are right now. I have spent very little time in this part of the state. The sky and all of its movement are my favorite part. Standing on a pier, bracing myself against the powerful wind … it is what it means to feel alive.
The mornings I was there, I walked. Port Townsend is a very walk-able city with plenty of discoveries to be made on each path. I ventured into town for coffee each day in a shop by the water. Both mornings were blustery which added a layer of interest to my coffee spot. The waves were crashing against the windows, writers tapped away at keyboards and scribbled notes into lined journals and there was just enough chatter to create beautiful background noise. Something about it all felt like home to me. Mornings seemed to quickly engage all of my senses and it set a lovely tone for my days of art.
It was a “productive” creative time for me. I had several orders to complete before the holiday season kicks in and I also had some delicious time to just explore a few new designs. I’m preparing to kick-start the business part of Braenstorm but until then, you can find a few of my cards at Hubbub in beautiful downtown Centralia ( opposite side of the freeway from the outlets and if you haven’t explored there, you’re missing out on some great shops, galleries and restaurants ). I won’t know the depth of my creativity until I am more free to explore it. That seems so long into the future I can’t really fathom it. Pretty sure the time will fly. Truth is, I have to always be on guard against wishing my life away. There will always be enough time for the things you make a priority. Always. And every single day holds a gift or two. Or ten.
As it happened, I also had occasion to spend some time with extended family that I rarely get to see. There is something to be said for the rediscovery of connections. I saw my cousin Amy a couple of times and got to see where she spends her working time. I enjoyed being able to see a very creative side of the business of wall art. Spectacular. You can enjoy the artist here. I also got a wonderful tour of town from my cousin Judy. It was such a joy to get to know her more after all these years. Pretty sure we’ve never shared a meal or talked an afternoon away. I feel like I met a new friend. She shared some favorite places and we talked books and poetry, writing and art. I had a wonderful time.
Not sure if it’s my upcoming birthday or what, but I’ve been really leaning IN to my connections with people this year. I love that I can rediscover old friendships and that I can cultivate new ones. My capacity for care seems to grow with each new affiliation. Funny how the heart works. Such a curious thing and yet I want to tell everyone who will listen that it’s really true ! Loving the world and the people in it really does grow one’s heart. And is there a more honorable pursuit ? I don’t think so.