It’s a true thing, is it not, that storms pass? That change is? That impermanence is a durable characteristic of this human experience? Well, in my own experience it sure seems to be the case that all those things are true. This morning, I woke to an entirely different experience than yesterday morning – to be fair, it is an entirely different day.

My black mood yesterday morning didn’t even last to lunch time. My refusal to take it personally, catastrophize it, spend all day root-causing the emotions, or to give up on myself (and the day), paid off. The turning point was twofold; my traveling partner reminded me that having yielded to the need to take more robust steps to manage my pain (an Rx pain reliever) for a couple of days and then… not, most likely resulted in having to slog through ‘the down’. Withdrawal symptoms, however mild, however transitory, totally suck – and I reliably fail to remember right away that I am at risk, particularly complicated by my limited executive function in the area of emotional regulation. The other turning point was a matter of human connection and intellectual distraction in the form of a new neighbor interested in my art work. Inviting him in to take a look at my work, talk it over, (and discuss a possible commission as it turned out) put my issues of the morning to rest, and left me feeling excited to be alive…and something else that I couldn’t quite place, but felt very good.

As the morning developed that ‘something else’ developed too, and as I was chatting with my traveling partner, it developed further still… a certain pleasant tension in the background of my emotional experience, an eagerness… something lost felt found… I wanted very much to paint. I paced a bit more, and fussed over the idea. I found myself having this peculiar inner dialogue about ‘not painting from this place’, and feeling as if I had ‘always painted from the positive’… but… as I considered it this was recognizably not the case. I looked at other work. Other times in my life. I have quite a lot right here to look at… I clearly paint mood pieces from any number of deep dark vile places, and quite a lot of my work bears the stamp of emotions other than joy, contentment, happiness, love, desire, eagerness… It’s true. I have paintings with titles like “Portrait of the Artist’s Tears”, “Anxiety” and “Broken”… definitely not ‘painted from the positive’… so what is this line of bullshit, and where is it coming from?

"Anxiety"  10" x 14" - and she feels much bigger than that, generally.

“Anxiety” 10″ x 14″ – and she feels much bigger than that, generally.

I decided that was less important than being who I am, authentic, inspired, and grounded in all the things that are real about my experience – regardless of positive or negative. Painters paint. The studio is ready. What more do I need?

I let my traveling partner know I would likely be difficult to reach for the weekend; we coordinated plans for later. I updated my calendar with considerable excitement, “Artist @ Work”. I spent the remainder of the day in the studio.

As yet untitled, 16" x 16" acrylic on canvas w/glow.

As yet untitled, 16″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, one of three new pieces painted yesterday.

I woke up this morning in a very different place as a human being, feeling content, feeling comfortable in my own skin, feeling confident that ‘things work out’ and that ‘things are okay’, and looking out on the gray morning sky with a certain something… a hard to describe piece of my experience of self clicked into place quite comfortably without force in this new space, in way it hadn’t quite done at #27, or the shared living arrangement prior to that. I had welcomed myself home.

I initially woke up early, around 2 am, thinking it was 5 am… and without my glasses, in the dim light, the clock certainly seemed to say it was 5 am… a good time to get up, although… Saturday. I could sleep in… I went back to bed, thinking I’d doze for another hour at best, and on checking the clock again and understanding the early hour at that point, crashed out content to just sleep and confident I would. It was a nice feeling, and I woke feeling rested and quite pleasantly human some hours later… properly at 5 am. 🙂 I took my coffee with me to a seat at the patio door, on my meditation cushion, and watched the dawn develop under gray skies, listening to birdsong, and watching the red-wing blackbirds come and go, their cheery bold ‘chirp!’ letting everyone know it is breakfast time. I sipped my coffee awhile. Meditated awhile longer. Moved on to yoga afterward. I’ll finish this up shortly with a rather futile swipe at spell checking it; I’ll catch what I missed later today, I’m sure. Then? A walk in the morning air before returning to have a bite of breakfast and consider yesterday’s new work, and what I might do in the studio today. This feels so good!

A soft rain begins to fall. I smile. My traveling partner pings me a good morning from his place. The day begins. It’s enough – it’s more than enough. Today is a good day to be here, to be content with what is, and to enjoy this moment. Yeah. Definitely enough. 🙂