the artist heart.

9834d8e4396fc80f4b2dc7e6fc209d56I'm in the middle of my first real university grind (as I mentioned a few days ago), and it has been raising up a lot of weird feelings all over the place. These last few months of surrendering to the school system has challenged so much in me; I am in this weird paradox of being incredibly bored, and incredibly busy, simultaneously. There are so many feelings coming alive, weird whispers in my spirit, that are battling for attention over these boring assignments that I know (or at least have faith) will be foundational to bettering my writing in the long run (grammar. literary terms. painstaking over-editing. critiquing. the like). Daily, I am being challenged to find the time in the middle of the grind to find room for art and writing. The artist in me is being challenged. The heart song is being challenged. If nothing else, I am learning how many hours there truly are in a day for us to use. If nothing else, I am remembering the hunger for creating. The need to create. The need to find words for things and to make pretty things for other people to enjoy. Because we don't have all the time in the world. If it's not school it's going to be an entry-level job, or a deadline, or (maybe in thirty years), hungry babies that will need to be fed and entertained and doted on. It's 3pm and I didn't do my laundry. I didn't go to yoga. I didn't finish the essay draft I should have done. I slept in, made two pots of coffee, and sat still. And then my mom called. I haven't showered and I have to be at work in an hour and a half. Today my body said no to it all. My brain has shut down in protest. I have days like this every once in a while, where my whole self just can't sprint like our world has demanded us to. Especially as artists, we are not meant to work our world into a hazy whirlwind. We are not machines, we are this funny breed of organic plant that needs constant bouts of encouragement, inspiration, and tea. We are supposed to slow down, and stop. And watch. And observe. Take in the characteristics of what it's like to be human, and all of the messy complications and all of the beautiful things about that. Inconveniently, my artist heart stepped in today and is feeling swollen and needs some tending to, and I can barely tend to it. But this is the lesson, isn't it? Isn't this living? To find the things that we can't ignore, and clear the room for them to grow and thrive and exist organically.

Those sweet words by Rilke are pulsing in every space, today, this week, this season, and I know the words like I know my favorite song:

"Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it mean sot live as an artist: in understanding as in creating. In this there is no measuring of time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn't force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything."

xo