One thing I know for sure is that I am an artist. I've been painting since I was about eight years old and it quickly turned into something that I needed to do. I still need to do it. Even if periods of time go by when I do not paint, I know that I am still an artist. Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" come to mind, along with an old friend's encouraging words years ago that reminded me that even during times when I'm not actively creating works of art, that I am still and always will be an artist.
If I could say I am just a painter that would feel simpler, but I am pulled in different directions toward ways of expressing myself that feel right and interesting and good to do. Those things, along with my spiritual life, which is a way of life for me, make life feel very full because there is always something to work on, to be curious about, to explore, to learn, to expand into.
I paint and once I finish one, another is ready to quickly emerge, but there isn't always time to let it. My spiritual life is ongoing, daily and enriches my life more than I can say. I'm on a path and there is still so much to learn, but I'm on it, doing it. Those two things alone make for a very rich life, but there is more... I make masks and costumes, mostly for performances but now also for spiritual work. This year it seems I am meant to take the year off from performing, but the desire is always there in the background... the stories come through my dance whenever I start to move a bit, and that is a spiritual experience in itself. Then there are other things like painting shoes and drums and things. Those, alone could be a full-time endeavor.
Perhaps I should just call myself "Little Miss Gemini-Rising", and embrace it all. Actually, this is what I do, although it is a juggling act and it can be a bit challenging to maintain the balance between it all. Some things take precedence, of course. Spiritual work is at the top of the list, right next to art making. Sometimes they tie in together nicely. It all intertwines for me.
My spiritual life is one that not too many people who know me in person, know about. I mention it when it feels safe to, but the only people (of those I know personally) who truly know what it is that I do are my teacher, and... well, not many others and that's okay. I suppose I'm mentioning it on here because in this blog which is titled Art & Spirit, I'll be mentioning it. There may be posts about just art, other posts about art and spirit, and some about just my spiritual path. It's a shamanic path and one I would not have chosen if I had the choice, because it is not an easy one. I was pulled onto it by the Spirits before I even knew what shamanism was. "Called" is a better word. Sounds softer. I'm embracing it, every bit of it and even the initiations can be quite profoundly beautiful in the deepest ways. Have drum, will journey. :)
That's it for now.... life is an interesting ride, isn't it?
Peace & Blessings,