My husband told me to write this post today. I was hesitant at first only because when I say it out loud or actually write it down for public record, it does sound a little strange and crazy.
Before I get to the crazy part, let me back track a little.
As I am coming up on the finish line of this 100 Day Project, I am asked one question over and over again:
How do you do it?
In the beginning it was a daily practice. I made the commitment to just write here on the blog every day – write what I see, what I notice, what I experience. It evolved into my Book of Hours on Day 31 which then changed the course of these scribbles and set me on a path that I never expected to be on.
I really wanted to add a visual element to my scribbles. I wasn’t sure what form it would take. I knew that I wanted to use some of Paper Plus Cloth’s beautiful tapes and embellishments. Perhaps I would add some hand drawn pages. From the start, I had two conditions: 1. One scribble per day. 2. Scribble the here and now without overthinking it. I wasn’t sure where this Book of Hours would take me but I dove in.
The quotes from the beginning of my Book of Hours came from the books in front of me, the books from the library that were stacked on my desk. I kept reading poems and quotes that applied to my right here and my right now so I jotted them all down.
As the process continued, something shifted.
This is the crazy part.
I have no idea how I come up with the scribble. It’s not a conscious thing nor do I plan it beforehand. None of it – the quote, the visual element, the connections made through my reflections here.
It just happens.
When people ask me how I do it, I am tempted to just say, “How can I not?” It has become a “MUST.” I must do it because there is something else working through me – God, Spirit, the Creator. I am simply the conduit for this creative output. It is truly a gift in every sense because I receive it and then it is imperative that I share it with all of you.
I have been in “flow” before but not like this and not for this length of time. If I don’t scribble first thing in the morning, I am ok. It doesn’t sit in the back of my head all day as if it is a to do list item that needs to be checked off. I have this consuming faith that it will work itself out and inspiration will arrive when I need it. Every time I sit down in front of my notebook – whether it’s before dawn or just before midnight – I feel at peace. The blank page has become a safe place and no longer a source of anxiety or dread. Facing the blank page, I am infused with an abundance of energy and open myself to the possibility instead of getting overwhelmed by it. I don’t know when that happened.
As I continue on this journey expressing myself honestly through my art and my words, I feel this “quickening.” Quickening has been used to describe the first time you feel your baby move when you are pregnant. Martha Graham describes it as a vitality and a life force. That is exactly what it is – I feel the energy of creation itself in its most purest form. It feels like I have become transparent. I have unblocked myself as an artist, a mother, a teacher, and a human being by letting go and letting in. I am simply a means to let light pass through – the light does not originate in me.
My selections for my Book of Hours are not quotes that belong to me. They belong to all of us. I draw on this wisdom to reflect on what is happening right now in my own life. The marriage of quote, illustration, and reflection happen without strenuous effort. The further I go down this path, there is less and less effort and more ease. More ease with allowing the process to unfold without me knowing the outcome. More ease in enjoying the mystery each day.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.