I seem to have taken a short leave of absence from writing lately.
Sometimes I just can’t find the words for my experiences.
Sometimes words just won’t do the trick.
Sometimes words are avoided because processing them is just too much.
Sometimes writing might bring me to the brink of a dark place I don’t want to be.
Sometimes words are stuck. They’re stuck somewhere between yesterday and today, lodged in my heart and head.
Sometimes they dissipate, they dissolve into something else entirely.
When words dissolve somewhere between the head and the heart, what you’re left with is art. Art to me happens to be the processing of feelings and transforming them into something beautiful. Art is what I’ve been up to. I’ve been processing in an entirely new way….through creativity with my hands.
Some people may see what I’ve been up to and think it’s silly. Maybe even ridiculous. I never set out to be a soap maker, or someone who takes from the land and creates with it. Some of the most creative minds in history never set out to do what they did, but a barrage of experiences led them there.
The truth is that art, be it in writing or other newly discovered forms, is healing. It helps with my addiction recovery. It helps with my PTSD. It helps with my anxiety. It helps with my depression. As I ride the unpredictable waves of life in recovery, I discover there are many different forms of anchors along the way. Sometimes that anchor happens to be creating something tangible with my hands, instead of stringing words along to form a piece.
Like most of those in recovery, my personality traits include obsession, perfection, and striving. I’m learning to laugh these off when it comes to putting creativity out there in the world. I fully accept that I am my own worst critic and am constantly striving for success. The trick is not to use other people’s terms of “success” in my life. As long as I’ve processed something through creating and left a tangible piece I’ve been successful.
Another wonderful way to process things is to get lost in nature. Not literally of course, but figuratively. When I’m at my homestead in progress, Rattlesnake Ridge, time stands still. I get completely lost in every wildflower sown by my creator. I get lost in every birdsong I’ve been blessed enough to hear. I get carried away by the trickles of water flowing through the creek. You should see the trees. Oh, the trees take me some place else entirely. The view from our future home plot takes my breath away. Every. Single. Time.
I don’t know where all this is going, but I know I’m on to something. I know there’s healing in the arts, and healing in nature. I guess I hope one day to be able to offer that experience to those who seek the refuge of nature.
Maybe I’m on to something. Maybe I’m completely missing the mark. Either way, I’m healing…and that’s what matters.