One more walk into the doctor’s office to hear the words, “Well it’s not cancer.” But I knew that. This time I knew that deep inside. So the ride up to this moment was not as anxiety soaked as previous times. Nonetheless, relief sweeps over you in waves so high that you cannot catch your breath in moments.
One of the first times this happened was the defining moment of my artistic journey since 1995. I sat in the oncologist’s office on 23 December at 5PM. The situation was surreal. In 1964 at 6PM on 23 December, my mother died from cancer. The surroundings were surreal. It was so very very quiet. Only the sound of my thoughts screaming in my head. I was alone, the only remaining patient, the lights were low and one little small tinsel starved fake Christmas tree sat in the corner with a few slowly blinking lights. I was reading a book on art quilting/embroidery and thinking to myself that I had not even entered the world of artistic production that I wanted to be in. If I get a chance to go on, if only…… The waiting was hard. The nurse had called after my latest blood test and said that the doctor wanted to see me. That was a few weeks earlier. I walked down the hall through brighter almost glaring white lights into the tiny room. Waiting, more waiting. The door burst open and the next sound I heard was “It’s not cancer.”
Do you have a defining moment? I left the office, drove home and literally stepped onto a new artistic path. I have kept the promises I made to the universe on that 1995 late afternoon. There have been other moments like this since that day. Each has its own life message and life direction it seems to me. They feel big.
Do you have big moments? A First Nations elder told me once that the universe seems to deliver big messages to certain personas. Really big messages or cascades of consecutive messages seemingly piled on top of each other totaling big. That’s me.
So what is it this time that defines me? Or is there something big? I think so. One is a decision about how I want to spend my energy. It is no longer boundless. Budgeting energy. Budgeting anything is not necessarily one of my skills. But I can learn. Energy by virtue of age, health and totality of life commitments. Bounded energy. This is a big thing for me to swallow. I verge on hyper-activity as a baseline. Some friends would say lose the “verge on” and this would better describe me.
I know I have been incubating some mark making. This is about as precise as I can be about what has been happening inside. All to say that it feels like something new is about to burst out. New in terms of style, technique, and desire all rolled up into one something. At this juncture the words of Marianne Williamson come to mind which I paraphrase as “It is not failure that we fear but rather our own greatness (meaning success through self-fulfillment).”
So today, Good Friday, high holy week, brings me to this edge. Stepping into the next phase. Mining both the wisdom of all the moments leading up to this one and yet letting them go in order to step onto a path unknown and trying to do so with no boundaries or definitions of what that means or even how to achieve it.
“I am blessed.” A friend of mine says this when you ask him how he is. “I am blessed!” Ezra says. I feel this way. “I am deeply blessed.” I've had another big moment. The rest is really up to me.
Happy Easter everyone!