Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hold On Loosely

Last night, we met with our artists group friends. There was no agenda except that we all brought art to share with one another. The meeting started with a couple of us sharing some difficulties that have occurred within the last week. Eventually a theme emerged and a deep melancholy settled onto my shoulders. I sat quiet for the rest of the meeting, even when my art was being passed around. I just didn't feel like I could speak for fear of breaking down. I still don't quite know exactly what the melancholy was all about but I suspect it had to do with broken dreams.
After we talked of difficulties, someone said that it was probably best to hold lightly to your dreams just in case you have to let go of them at some point. If you cling too tightly (with apologies to .38 Special) you won't be able to let go. I'm not sure how to communicate what I'm feeling. Let me just say that I know about broken dreams. I've "let go" of plenty in my day. In my younger years, my one and only dream was to be an artist. My plan was to get my BFA (which I did) then my MFA, find a teaching position and live out my days as a working/teaching artist. God, or what I thought was God, took that dream away from me. It hurt for a while but then I let go and moved on to what I thought was His dream for me. I moved forward as faithfully and blindly as Abraham. I attended seminary (a difficult time for me) and eventually became a minister. I eventually found my niche in ministry and worked very hard. I became very good at what I was doing despite enduring some tough situations. Eventually, that dream came crashing down as well.
So, here I sit with gifts and talents overflowing not knowing which dream to pursue next. Lately, I've had a little success with my art but will it last? I don't know. I need to move on but I am finding it difficult. The failures of the past still haunt me and God remains silent. Most days I doubt He's even there. I feel very much alone and abandoned and I don't know which way to go.
It seems Becca is feeling the same way I am. I know what you're going through, Becca. I really do.

1 comment:

Chagrin said...

*hug*

*more hugs*

You are a wonderful artist, and you have touched many people on your journeys through the wasteland, through art and ministry. I am one of them. Your presence has always been a comfort, even when you are laid low, and you have left an indelible mark on my life.

You are beating yourself up because you do not know what to do. Stop it. The goal is not to do, but to be. Just be, Marty, and the rest will flow out of that being. You don't need to know the path you're on. The point is that you are already on it.

To attempt the "doing" questions: There is a book I love to read to Max. It's called "The Three Questions", based on Tolstoy's writings. A little boy believes that if he could have the answers to the tree questions, he would always know what to do. So, the story goes on to answer the questions. What is the best time to do things? There is only one important time, and that is now. Who is the most important one? The one you are with. What is the right thing to do? The most important thing is to do good for the one standing at your side. This is why we are here.

You are not who you were, you are not who you will be, but you ARE. Trust us to love you and care for you for that reason alone.