I spent yesterday painting with folks. Midday I volunteered my time for an organization that holds monthly gatherings to encourage positive parenting. There were about 25 young parents there, including 3 dads, and lots of children, most under the age of 5. They had been told no kids, but none had childcare, because the entire group is homeless. They were all under the age of 30, a number were siblings or cousins and all their kids. The kids all got a good snack and playtime, the adults got just a little bit of downtime. This was my first time working with this group, and owing to the excitement about the painting, it was the biggest group they had ever had. Had I known about all the kids I could easily have brought tempera paints and maybe my wonderful artist goddaughter and we could have kept the little ones busy for longer so their exhausted parents could have a longer rest. I am at another session next week with another of their groups, so the tempera paints are getting packed. I cant imagine having tried to raise my son while being homeless.
Last night I was the Painting instructor for The Women of the New Zion Church in Hammond, IN. This is the third event I have done for ladies church groups, each one a referral from the last. We did a painting focused on the image of the Virtuous Woman, a new series of classes they are beginning. The painting combined the image of the cross merged with the ancient symbols for womens power and the colors black, red and white for the triple aspects of the Ancient Female Archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone. These womens church groups have become one of my favorite events to do. They have so much fun! There is so much laughter and joy and community connection! They are all ages and everyone works so well together focused on amd sharing their common spiritual focus. Most have never painted and it is so wonderful to see the joy in their faces when they realize their painting is beautiful and they did it!
And today, I am home. There is a huge list of things I need to do for work, (I realized the other day I cannot remember ever being fully caught up and having nothing on the "should do" list) my studio is a wasteland strewn with partially empty paint bottles (I did realize today however when I really looked, that the stack of paintings I have completed in the last year is truly monumental! No wonder I have noticed an improvement in my painting skills) and my weekend with nothing to do truly is that. I have work to do. Nothing more. All of my friends are out there busy doing things, and I am not part of any of it. They are running marathons, going riding, moving to new summer adventures, getting together and having fun.
It has been a thing for a long time for me. I provide something that is valued. My art, my efforts, but it is what I provide, not me, that is valued. The majority of phone calls I recieve are work related or bill reminders. Calls from friends just to say Hi are not a part of my reality. I make them, I rarely recieve them.
Having a community that is mostly a state away and a small business that takes all my efforts has been challenging. I truly love what I do, but I wish for stimulating conversations and hangout time, and that is rare.
In less than a month, psg will come and while my community will be gathered, I will be focused upon my duties there and partake, again, of almost none of the connection and community part of things.
I am not complaining, just comsidering. For my entire life I have known what I wanted to do, what fed my mind and heart and spirit. How to be, and feel healthy and alive. How I wanted to love and live and who I wanted to be, but life has always somehow moved all my efforts (or just my objective) just slightly off mark and despite a herculean will to overcome the obstacles and disappointments, and an unwillingness to ever give up, I find myself today to be tired and lonely and thoroughly unsure how to proceed.
In the last week, I have seen 4 different items on caretaking openings for remote farms, living off grid and raising sheep, giving it all up and heading out on the road, and a small ad for a little 12ft sailboat. They all have wakened in me again the gypsy desire to just escape into an adventure and just this once, if the universe's plan for me is to never have mind, body, spirit and soul connected and fed simultaneously, to just bend to that and at the very least, have adventure if nothing else.
So, I am going to hangout with my son, finish my Greenman painting and do my work because that it what I need to do.
As for this blog post? LOL I feel comfortable posting this here because I know no one reads it.
Tomorrow of course will be a better day.