Play and fun

Some days are easier, more light filled than others. Some days, i just crash and let tears poor over me. It is hard to let C. see me like this, vulnerable and in distress. In the past, if i did not feel good, i just retreated in my flat (we had 2 apartments), so i could take the hours or days needed to get back on my feet, by myself. Here, in this furnished 55 sq. meters, there is not so much place to hide my tears and discouragement — my bed, my bath tub, my balcony, my grounding walks on guilford street under its trees — all my hiding/grouding places are gone and i must find new ones. My despair can be felt in the air, and there is C. to witness it. Despair added with the frustration of being seen like this, not able to hide and be seen just when i am in some sort of control.

Some days are much lighter. I discovered that the part of me which calls for rest as i know it is in fact dragging me in the dark. If i stay in bed and listen to this part of me, who wants to stay in and wait until i feel better, it is not helping. These days, i feel my spirit rest much more if i fill my days with activities, simple ones: going writing at the coffee, going shopping, visiting a new area, visiting a park, reading. So the rule of thumb is, i must get out of this apartment, as often as i can, and this is big surprise to my ego who just wants me to stay inside and rest, which in fact is a perfect recipe for thinking and ruminating too much over things that drag me down (dad sickness, my backpain, the sudden loss of my loved cat, the homesickness, the change of country, the lack of social activities, and so on). When i re-read this list, i see how compassion i should have for myself, for taking such a leap of faith and take so many risks while my feet where deep in the mud.

I discovered that i must not surrender to my ego worrying — worrying seems like a drug, an addiction i must not slip in. If i leave too much empty space in my head, if i dont keep myself busy with fun activities, if i let my mind ungarded, the space will be filled with deadening thoughts, sending me swimming in a dark pool. This empty space feels huge, and for the last years i have been assigning my unhappiness to many labels: boring work, lack of money, my relationship with C, back pain, the city we lived in, my dad sickness and so on. I went on running from one drama to the other, this because i was, and still am, deeply unfulfilled somewhere. From one drama to the other i go, pointing my finger at any event i find to be the cause of my unhappiness. This goes on and on, one drama to the other, but i must find what lies under all of this, where i am unfulfilled, what do i miss.

Play and fun are definitely missing. For the last 15 years, the only fun times i had where mostly related to my creative work. I was on fire, and felt passionate and alive in my work. Since some years, my work is no source of fun and play anymore, and no play for too long is no good for anyone. So today i look for what could bring me joy, what could light up my heart, what would bring happiness at the core of me. The voices in my head are running around like headless chicken ‘just work on your art, there is so much to do!’, but work is exactly what i have no feeling for. Pushing, trying, producing — my heart calls for fun, easy going time away from the computer — writing, reading, walking in the park, being close to nature — simple things to ground myself, recharge my batteries, get my head clear.

One thing i learned the first week of my 35th year is that there will always be many unanswered questions in my head, and i must live with that. What i cant afford is to let my ego fill out the emptiness inside me, how he likes to.

Author: m-c

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  1. Je pense à toi.

    Retrouve la petite MC de 5 ans, je suis certaine qu’elle aime jouer…


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  2. I worry too. Someone told me “stop trying to control the world. ” Even if we play our cards well, things may not always go the way we hope. Learning about God, that he’s in control ultimately, that he wants our love and wants us to love others has helped me. If Jesus is God that means he’s the ultimate source of creativity, wisdom, love and joy. When those things lack in my life, that usually means I’ve lost sight of him. Nature is a good place to start listening. Looking at his word in community with others is better. But he’s always listening.

    Even if our artistic identity is lost, we can have a greater identity in him that can never fade away. I love the freedom and color of your work, it is amazingly joyful and you have a gifted expression. So I try to encourage you a little with things that have encouraged me and given me perspective.

    CS lewis says that all art can do is be a glimpse of a greater joy. Just a signpost on a journey, not the destination itself. He’d say that everyone’s ideal goal in it’s purest form is a deeper relationship with the infinite one.

    This other thinker, Tim Keller would say that we make good things into ultimate things and that’s when we run into trouble. If we make family into an ultimate thing, we’re looking to it for all our value and self worth. But it puts too much pressure on that relationship because we want infinity out of it and it cannot provide since it is finite. By putting god as #1 only then can we truly enjoy family for what it is and not try to make it into something it isn’t (and infinite “god” like thing to us)

    For us, our artwork can sometimes create difficult client problems, money stress and so on. But compared to doing another kind of job, maybe drawing for a living is something to be thankful for. Anyway I hope you can feel that deep inner joy again. Keep being courageous in your explorations and telling the truth about everything!

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