Last month I was twirling in a vortex of busyness and impossible schedules. Last month I was prepping for my final craft market of the spring, and I was daydreaming of simplicity, and I was envisioning new designs which my month, my past several months, did not afford me the luxury of developing.
But against the busyness of days I borrowed moments. I stole mornings. I negotiated steps along windy, rainy ridge lines under open skies releasing mountain showers.
I participated in six craft fairs and markets this spring. Some were old favorites, and some were completely new to me, much larger than I had ever done before. I've mentioned before how interesting and exciting I'm finding the craft market game to be. I'm learning so much, and each new event I participate in offers the opportunity to challenge myself to grow and really, really evaluate my work in the context of 'how does one make a living doing this!?'
But I also have a habit of crashing into my own scheduled busyness and blowing up attempting to produce and design work at the same time. I make work for the schedule, rather than letting the work come when it may.
In the middle of last month, in the middle of all of this busyness, I stayed a few days in Bend with my mom. I spent my 41st birthday there, quietly. I got to take the time to be absorbed in my travel sketchbook, and I spent my mornings and evenings letting visions I'd feebly grasped onto while working hard on production be drawn out onto paper. I began feeling a feeling that can be elusive to me, the sense of growing excitement - the kind of tingly, wanting to jump up and down, to shout "yes!" feeling. That ain't no feeling to suppress, baby.
I let my sensory and spiritual doors swing open, and I let the inspiration in. On my way home I let my senses guide me up a forest road in the Jefferson National Wilderness. l got out in the rain and foraged for fir tips. I lay on a bed of dirt underneath tall hemlock trees when the clouds broke and the sun shone down on a patch of ripe, wild strawberries. I took the time to be entirely alone and entirely empty.
I returned home to client work and show prep, but I kept the spirit alive inside me, the anticipation of taking the time to develop new work without the pressure of an immediate event. I got through those final weeks before Crafty Wonderland, and then
I just stopped.
I set out fresh fir tips to dry.
I inventoried my work.
I reflected on the lessons I've learned this spring.
I cleaned my studio.
I swept the winter hearth, finally.
I brought in fragrant lavender for every room in the house.
I bought a trolly-load of new native pollinator plants to fill out our backyard.
And I drew in my sketchbook.
And I continue to draw, bringing this inspiration home, each and every day.