My Holding Place


I am being held...suspended...by an indescribable force. As I try to envision it, I picture a giant set of hands clamping down on my shoulders. Holding me in place. Protectively, but heavily. This feeling seems foreign and familiar, all at once. It has trailed behind me like a shadow these past couple of months and I haven't quite figured how to shake it off.

Just like painting, writing has always been my therapy. I've always felt comfortable sitting in front of my laptop, tapping into my intuition, and letting my fingers dance over the keyboard. I'm not the type of writer who doubles back, questioning the content. But here I am, cautiously circling my words rather than streaming full speed ahead.

I type a few words......Stop.

Is that what you really meant to say?

<----- Backspace. Click, click, click.

Reread. Regroup.

Perhaps this is what creative block feels like. A few months ago, I anticipated this stretch of open-ended and uninterrupted time. I jotted down some goals and applied to some galleries and festivals. And several opportunities have come up. For example, a gallery in NYC followed up with my application and invited me to exhibit in their gallery. Initially, I jumped for joy- Hooray! This is it! But as I glossed through the contract and read the fine print, I saw the extraordinarily high promotional services and something didn't settle right. Okay, moving on.

After my exhibition with LithaMoon, I knew it was time to try something new...something fresh. A new message. Something less universal and more deepy personal, along the lines of storytelling. So I started drawing portraits and faces, but they came across as foreign, uncomfortable, and forced. I tried mixing in facial elements and specific details into my style, but was quick to stop and give up. Since then, I have been floating around in a creative funk. Unable to fully attach or commit to anything.

Part of me wonders if I should take this as a sign that I'm burnt out. Maybe my body is saying, just take a break. You should be focusing on something else right now. But I can't ignore my inner desire to create and to grow things. I know that I'm meant to keep pushing forward, but I can't seem to get out of my own head and flee this nest I've made myself out of barbed wire branches.

So here I stand... at a crossroads of sorts:

Wary of feeling stuck in this intermediate state in my holding place...

Waiting for a nudge in the right direction...

Hopeful for a rush of creative energy to explore with wreckless abandon...

And, most of all, eager to see where I end up.


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