December 18th, 2019 - Morning
Well I can officially say I have sunk into the darkness of the season. I have been feeling quite anxious and even had a few small panic attacks (don’t worry though, I’m at the point where I know what to do when this happens). Lately when the sun starts to set I get a bit nervous and have to really focus to feel ok. This means making hot tea, deep breathing, or maybe just scribbling random words/thoughts/shapes into my sketchbook. This morning I melted down because I thought the shovel was lost and I assumed we got pounded with snow last night and in my mind I knew the shovel was gone forever and I would be buried out here. Yeah, my mind can really spin things. It’s actually funny to me when I look back at these incidents, but it the moment it feels like certain death. Dramatic, I know, but brains and nervous systems lie sometimes. It is so important in these moments to interrupt the spiraling thoughts. Last night during one of these moments I decided to write some thoughts into my canvas before I painted on them. I’ve done this before and it is actually so therapeutic to see those words and then bury them in paint. It’s easy to forget that the sun will return in the spring and our bodies and spirits will be warm and bright again.
I wrote under my lime painting what follows -
“Nerves are ok, I don’t need fixing. I need love and support and deep nourishment in these dark times. Dark times that yield fresh limes.”
So this is powerful, right? Just a short simple poem expressing my nerves, fears, and the reality of a coming winter in Michigan. Living beings need times of rest and nourishment. And after I wrote this onto the canvas I got to paint it away and cover it with a bright juicy lime. Art therapy my friends, it’s real and it helps.
I also wrote beneath the garlic painting what follows -
“Don’t panic in the dark, even garlic lies beneath the damp wet soil for a time. You can make it, you can grow, you can climb.”
So here’s the thing, I love garlic. It’s growing in my garden right now. I started to think…is the garlic panicking because it is buried beneath layers of soil, straw and snow? Maybe, I really don’t know, but I can almost guarantee that same garlic that is deep down in a dark lonely and empty place will rise and grow again (unless some little bastard ground squirrel or gopher digs them up, I do love them but my God please stop eating things in my garden). I like these thoughts.
So anyway my point to all of this madness is that I’m not crazy after all. I am in tune with nature. It’s dark and cold and that can feel...well...dark and cold. My nerves are ok and I don’t need fixing. I am making it through the seasons just like the garlic and I can only hope I will sprout and grow in the coming months. Hell, I might even plant a lime tree (I’m kidding those don’t grow in this subzero climate).
Oh and one more thing! This morning after my melt down about the shovel it was pointed out to me that said shovel was on the back deck. That’s not a place I would put it, Brian put it there (totally not blaming him for my melt down, but why was the shovel there?). We didn’t get that much snow and I barely had to push the thing. I came inside to make some hot green tea with Holy Basil and started to get to work photographing some of my art that is for sale, including the garlic and lime paintings. I went to take a sip of my delicious piping hot tea and low and behold it burnt my mouth…not surprised. So I spit it immediately back into my mug just trying to salvage my taste buds knowing full well I was going to make homemade spaghetti sauce later and I wanted to taste those summery spicy tomatoes. So as I emptied my mouth full of “too hot for me tea” the tea splashes back up into my eye. I am not making this up!!! What the hell. Betrayed by tea. If it’s not one thing it’s another I guess. I laughed. It didn’t hurt it was just more of an insult at this point.
So, in conclusion, if you are reading this and are having a hard time with the darkness and “too hot for me tea” like me, I feel you and I love you. You will rise again. Rest now and nourish your body and spirit. Write it out and then burn it up (or paint over it, whatever you need to do to feel well). Tell your tale and breath deep into this cold wintery air. You are a blessing and I am so happy you are here.