Monday, June 7, 2010

slipping beneath the surface

Sometimes it just all seems like too much, you know? I'm feeling adrift, left behind, forgotten. Sometimes I feel like giving up, turning my back on it all but that's not really possible is it? I mean, I still have to eat, still have bills that come on a regular basis. At night when I should be sleeping my brain hits the panic button, impending doom hangs over me. Other than a spurt of calls in April the phone has been deathly silent. I'm going to have to send out some feelers soon, remind people I am still here.

The studio is still in the disarray it's been in for two years. This move is taking so long I have lost all momentum and I wonder if I will ever get it back. Many days I don't care, other days I am jealous of those who seem to be flourishing, noticed, in demand. The shop is finally being built but who knows how long it will be before it is functional, before I function. It just takes so much effort. I gaze back into the model making studio, I consider the things I could, should, do. I wonder where is that focused, driven, producing, noticed person I was two years ago?

I'm glad we are moving, have moved. I love it out here, do not miss the city, but now I'm thinking that perhaps we have moved ourselves out of the consciousness of the world. I know that's not true, that many artists live isolated and still thrive. My own forward motion is not all mine to control. I can do my part but then must wait til my partner feels inclined to do his part. And neither of us have our spaces intact to do our parts. I am impatient and summer is already here, the year nearly half done and I have done nothing.

I read somewhere that if you want to do a body of work then devote 2 hours a day to that endeavor. I decided to do that, did that for two days and then all sorts of demands on my time left me tired and uninspired. I am running out of time, out of mind, another year slipping through my fingers, another year of time and distance from the goal I sought after, desired.

I fear I am slipping beneath the surface of visibility.

photo by Carol Carson


  1. ellen: I am not diminishing your current pain when I some point in time all of those that create are in that box you're in right now. Sometimes it is our own making, sometimes we allow it to happen and sometimes life just takes a big dump on us. Myopia is a terrible waste of your talent and spirit. I trust, as strong as you appear to be, that this squeezing will make you a better "everything" that you are and can be.
    I had a professor one time that told me, my problem was that I forgot how to breathe. Not in tiny panicked breathes, not in deep unfocused sighs but just breathe in, breathe out, move on.
    This is meant in a playful loving way.....move it girl.

  2. Hi Ellen - I'm with Fireblossom here. It is a place we all come to know sooner or later - but it's awful when it's our turn!

    When I am in that state, I remind myself not to think too far ahead - that I can only do one thing at a time, but if I keep doing one thing at a time, before long I have accomplished a lot.

    It would be nice if you could just take a time out - but when that is not possible as in the case of finances or serious illness then we have to take little pockets of time when we remember what we can celebrate about our life.

    Hang on ... this will pass.

  3. One foot in front of the other- chocolate- margarita- anything it takes to allow this transition to roll smoothly along without worry and fatigue...if that does not work- be sure to carry your scuba gear just in case you slip way below the surface...I am glad you are out of the city and it sounds like a sensible move, healthy choice. You will get through and your art will succeed- Just put it out there in the all encompassing energy field. Love what you are doing!

  4. I know what this feels like... the exhaustion, the effort, the mind that won't shut off, the envy over other's lives that seem to be working so much better... and the feeling that it's just too much sometimes. But, we just keep going, keep swimming, and when it gets to be too much, we allow ourselves to float for awhile until we can gather that strength up again to move forward.
    :) I hope something happens today that makes you smile.

  5. Keep your head above the water. How? One day at a time. I know that sounds trite and cliche, but sometimes it really is the only way. I've been there.

    No matter how dark the night gets, the sun will always rise tomorrow, and bring with it a new day, a new chance to live and breathe and think and feel and create. That's a beautiful thing to remember at those times when you can see nothing around you but darkness.

    The sun always rises. Always.

  6. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, cher! Considering everything you've had on your plate, recently, it's understandable to feel this way. Hang in there, this too, shall pass.

  7. Hey, I think most of us can relate to how you're feeling right now. I know I can. I like the two hours a day thing. I'm going to try to incorporate that concept.

  8. Perhaps a case of moving/growing pains? Summer is a weird time as well- the world is literally buzzing and everything seems so...orderly. Like everything else in the world knows what it is doing, its direction. Whenever I tell myself I'm going to do this or dedicate myself to this amount of work on that...I run out of steam. The word "should" has held so many of us in chains.

    Hope things seem brighter soon.

  9. I echo what everyone else has said - but I also want to add that you had such a scare with your daughter. And then you were busy with FOUR gkids. I don't want to say to take it easy - obviously part of the stress is that you need to generate income - but give yourself a break!

  10. I can't add much to the advice given by others, but deep breath, make a list, ignore it and then start eating the elephant bite by bite. Take care of yourself whatever you do.

  11. Oh, I know it's only temporary. I'm tired I guess from the constant energy of the g'boy (he goes home tomorrow). It's frustrating and depressing sometimes not having my studio all together. I just feel like I'm losing all the ground I worked so hard to gain. But that will pass too. None of it would matter I suppose if I were, you know, independently wealthy. anyone have a spare million they want to toss my way? Oh heck, I'd settle for half a million.

    thanks to all for your excellent and loving advice. You are all so right.

  12. We all get down in the mouth, Lord, I stay there most of the time, but I shall offer some platitudes to go with the already mentioned great advice.

    It is darkest before the dawn.

    This, too, shall pass.

    I have been told, think it, make it so. I am seeing your phone ringing off the hook and your creative mind spinning. I see your creations growing and being sold quicker than you can produce them.

    When two or more agree...

  13. Don't be too hard on yourself, Ellen. You've been in major demand recently with your daughter's surgery and the care you've been giving your grandchildren. Things will get better again.. they always do.

  14. I truly hope that things turn round for you very, very soon... I hope that you can take some happiness from everyone's lovely comments. Hugs :))

  15. I think we've all been in the rut you're describing... I've been creating my entire life, and noticed that I just "stopped" for like a four year period. Oddly, during that period I wasn't so much focused on the fact that I had "stopped" so, well, I guess I had the pleasure of being oblivious.

    I always kind of wonder what happened to that time... but then, I don't dwell on it.

    Whatever you do — you should find some contentment doing it. If you're not the kind of person who's all anal about "time management" — and I am certainly NOT — then don't consider it an option, and don't even give the concept any attention.

    Sometimes pause and inaction are necessary, because when that malaise lifts the things that come after are often wonderful and sublime.

    So, best of luck with your meticulously unplanned future and don't wallow in any kind of regret for too long, it denatures the creative juices.

  16. I am very sorry that you are feeling dejected, ignored and uninspired.
    I have no advice to give.
    In the past, when I 'was in the black hole', I stayed inside and waited, in misery, until something made me climb out. Now, I recognise it, put on my walking boots, whistle for the dog and go out. I walk as far and as hard as I can, - not very far or hard nowadays - and most of the time, I feel better at the end of it. For the very least, I feel able to motivate myself enough to do something, anything, that answers the creative need.

  17. You sound tired to me. Who wouldn't be, after your daughter's surgery, the four grandkids, and all the other tasks you've been in charge of.

    Hoping you get some good, solid sleep. My attitude always changes when I'm rested. Sending you much love.

  18. Do I ever understand what you mean! Every now and then I find myself questioning my move away from my old friends and family. It makes me wonder if I've lost something... there are times when I miss the old things so much, but I have no real requests.

    Hm, I think I'll follow your 2 hour rule.


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