I have always had this theory that the fall weather brings us back to our thoughts, back to the analytical, the feeling and the philosphical. The summer is so much about the dance and the play and the physical, it's all about the motion and the participation and the active, present tense verb.
The fall is more about the subjunctive, or is it the conditional, maybe the passive tense, my grammar identification is rusty, but the idea is there: The idea that as the planet cools, and we are slowing down - the mornings are arriving a little later, and the evenings disappearing a bit sooner - we are more tuned inward, tuned into our thoughts, and plans, our feelings.
I turned over some of the earth in my garden this weekend. Trimmed some of the plants back that have gone a bit dormant, cleaned up the brittle leaves, pruned back some flowering shrubs, you know, getting the garden ready for the winter rains. My grandmother used to call it, 'closing up the garden' and it brought me to thoughts about 'opening' up to working more in my studio: painting, drawing, creating, with my hands, and not as much with my computer.
My thoughts these days have drifted towards thinking about the difference and the same-ness of working for money, and working for ones growth as an artist, when one (in my case me) makes their living from their creative side/self. My work the last few years has been weighted more towards making the money than toward the growth or expansion of my experience as an artist/designer. Re-thinking is where my mind is these autumn days.
So where is the line, where do I step over and cross back, and weave my way through this life? How much of my work needs to be about paying my bills and how much about satisfying my own personal longings to create? Are the two paths mutually exclusive, or is there a fine and delicate balance? A balance that I have perhaps not been paying enough attention to? Sure, the bills need to be paid, but can I live my life with more space to work as an artist, and perhaps devote less time to working to pay the bills?
These are the questions that run through my head these days. They run through my head when washing the dishes, or working on a collection of small paintings, or walking in the early morning fog, drifting off to sleep listening to the first few rains of the season. I started out feeling that these questions needed to be resolved. Answered. Clarified. Soon. And as the weeks have passed deeper into this autumn I realise that these are questions I must remember to ask myself more often than when the weather turns chillly, and the leaves begin to fall and the fog is thick and damp on a wednesday morning.
These are some of the many questions of our lives, of my life, that are asked and answered again and again, with new and different answers, at the different crossroads of our lives, in various voices, and for a myriad of reasons and situations.
For now, I paint and ponder. For now, I open photoshop and design. Perhaps pull out some stones and glassbeads and make some earrings. I will manage my deadlines the best I can, and continue to sift through all the answers calling back and forth to me - kind of like voices echoing across a canyon, that's the way it sounds inside my head.
It's also kind of like the feeling of sticking my hand into the bowl of fortunes that sits on a pedestal inside the entryway at a friend's house, and wanting to pull out the best and most wonderful fortune that will make me feel all warm and happy. Any of the following would do:
You are always welcome at any gathering.
Your home is a pleasant place from which you draw happiness.
Sing and rejoice, fortune is smiling on you.
And instead I pull out a fortune that speaks to me in a way that is at once deeply comforting and terribly frightening, and makes me feel that anything is possible in this world and that hopefully I will have the courage to step forward, again, one more time, and once more, and so on, into my own life:
And just what would that fortune say? I don't quite know yet, but I am getting closer to hearing the words that go with some of the answers.