Life as an artist, is life in an ocean. Nothing... nothing is ever the same. There are constants.
There is the salt. Tears, and fears, and love turned grief. There is no ocean without the salt.
There is the water. Emotion, life force, breath, self.
Water and salt. Everything else, is caught up in an ever changing cycle.
Life as an artist, could be easier. With proper support. But most times, and in my case, life as an artist is tied to life as everything else. The art flows to me, in waves. I have made peace with the patterns and found trust in the surrender. Letting go when there is no fire. Burning both ends of the candle when there is one. The art, that flow, is the easy part.
But there are so many other things in my ocean. Some things that belong there, schools of love like fish. My son, my husband. What it means to be theirs. What it entails to hold a family together as the creator and lover and peace maker. Caring for myself. Making friendships.
Other things, feel more foreign to me. Like my ocean would be a little cleaner without them. Things like nerospicy limitations. Traits from my autistic brain that come with meltdowns, energy and dopamine deficiencies. Things like health conditions. Things that make everything else a little harder.
And there are things that I know do not belong there. Trauma like oil spills that could have been prevented, should not have happened. Ship wrecks on the floor of my heart.
This ocean, is complex. There will never be a story or expedition that can uncover all of it's beauty and mystery.
Sometimes, I feel like the only way I can talk about those shipwrecks, is through metaphor. The oil spills. The trauma. The hard parts of this life.
Birth work has its hard parts too. Some experiences, come woven in ways I can paint and weave into storytelling. Others... have less concrete paths. Sometimes, as a storykeeper, something falls into my lap that doesn't give me permission. A story I can't weave. A heartbreak I can't mend with kind words or intention.
Sometimes, the storyteller, the birthkeeper- her hands bleed.
My hands have been bleeding this season. Trying to cultivate roses from a bush of thorns. The roses, were so beautiful. Beautiful moments. Beautiful intentions.
My hands have been bleeding, and there is no easy way to wrap them up. No salve that makes them heal faster. Before I could even think about moving into a new birth space, I had to let go of those roses. I felt like I dropped them in the snow. My hands, were no longer able to serve in their space. That space, did not have room for my hands. All I can do now, is pray that that winter sees a season change. That new hands will come along, to help those flowers bloom again in their own time.
Boundaries, are hard to set. Time, is an infuriatingly necessary tool in these gardens. In these oceans. This season, I was reminded.
Reminded of how easy it is, to burn out. To loose hope. To try so hard that your hands bleed. And still not know, if it made any difference.
I have questioned, and searched. I still am on a path, still in a sort of recovery. Still holding my hands a little tenderly.
I titled this piece, "inspiration is funny." Because I thought I was going to write about how stubborn that path to inspiration can be. But I think, this wasn't a loss of inspiration. Or self. It was an injury. It seems those words are what I needed to write to come to this conclusion.
We get injured doing a job we love with all our hearts. Wonder, if we will ever be able to do it the same again. Wonder, if we even want to.
Tonight, I shared a very small part of a very big space. And it left me with this spark. This beautiful little baby flame of inspiration. It was so small. But it reminded me of the fires I burn for this work. Reminded me, reassured me, that those fires are still there. I just have to keep that motion. That binding of hands while they heal. That surrender to this ocean. It will shift again, when the wind is just right, and things will clear.
Being in the fog, is scary. Being covered in oil you didn't spill, is hard. But there are people who care. And ways to get cleaned up. And because of our beautiful humanity, our hands have the ability to heal.
Inspiration, is a funny thing. A shy creature who takes refuge in the depths of the shipwreck, and doesn't come out until they feel safe.
<3 Creating safe spaces for others, is my life. Finding them for myself, is my future.
- CordeliaGrey Oriana Allen