“After all, I reflected, much in life seems to have no tangible result, just as many roads we follow have no ending. But it isn’t necessary always to have a useful practical result. It’s the going ahead that matters.” ~ Gladys Taber
It is the first of September, we are in the subtle shift from summer to fall, and my system seems to have slowed down to nearly a halt. I have been trying to update this blog for 2 weeks and every time I came back to it I would sit awhile, slump in my chair, and back out of the screen. I wanted to write a new post but as the old saying goes my get up and go got up and went. My best friend reminds me that I always have a slump at the change of the seasons, mostly around summer, and this summer was rough coming in and heading out. I think it’s time to paint again but my work table is in such a state of disarray I don’t know how to make the space. I have been working on the next issue of Pastiche, which I love, hence books, and papers, and whatnots crowd the space save the area in front of the computer about 2′ wide and 18″ deep. I live in my space fully from eating, having coffee, making notes, writing, working on Pastiche, and painting when I’m painting. I need to spread out. My brain is squished I am so hemmed in. My ex-husband told me years ago that wherever I work ends up looking like the cockpit of an airplane, barely room to sit with everything I need within arm’s reach. This is great for working in an intense working phase but the rest of the time it makes me nervous and uneasy, but as my get up and go seems to have taken off I can’t seem to get it cleaned up. But I will, I will. One piece at a time.
I painted the weeping willow above in July, I just love it, it is cool and green and fills me with a sense of peace. I feel that when I am painting. When I get in a stuck and cluttered place in my mind when words won’t come switching over so that I am in my hands rather than my head goes miles to help me get back on track. And finally, as Taber says, it’s the going ahead that matters. I have to figure out how to get going again in any direction at all. Lining words up like bricks that form the foundation of the house, or gliding across a canvas with paint, either one, will get me moving, but how to make myself begin? Therein lies the rub.
I finished the first issue of Pastiche 3 weeks early and sent it out to nearly 40 people so now, as it is the original publication date today, with the next issue due on November 1 I am miles ahead of where I need to be. I have 28 pages of the 60 done so I think I might make the November issue a bigger than usual Holiday issue. That will put me back on track for the January issue. The lovely thing about doing Pastiche is that I can pick it up and put it down because each individual page stands alone so that now with so much time ahead of me I can do several pages one day and none the next 2 or 3 days. Now I am finding my way and trying to find a balance. Bipolar days run more smoothly when I am in a better state of balance, but keeping on keeping on is the key, one way or t’other.
Summer is the hardest time of the year for me mainly because of the heat but I have just realized that as with the holiday season when things are different because of days off and special days to celebrate and kids out of school and people’s work schedules changing here and there it is harder for me to stay on the even keel that I do when the bulk of the days are the same as they go by. I know where people are in their lives and work and where I am and I can count on a greater sense of equanimity which my bipolar nature needs to feel stable. Summer I am thrown off by an extreme, greater than normal, sensitivity to the heat + living in this southern coastal area where the heat is in the hundred degree range with over 100 temps with the humidity. And then summer when kids are out of school and people are vacationing here, there, and everywhere at whatever times makes me feel off kilter. It is odd to say that but it’s true. With the coming of fall just around the corner I begin to breathe easier, to have a greater sense of ease.
It is September now so I know that in 3 weeks time autumn will be here. As Keats wrote, “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…” It is the loveliest time of the year to me. My body reacts seasonally to the changes but this time, with the last of the heat — it is a hot one again today — and the last leg of summer, there is promise of the fall days to come. I am ready, I am relieved, and I am grateful. I will count the days until the leaves turn golden, begin to cover the ground, and to wake up that first morning with a chill in the air, that is what I live for.
I will wake up grateful for something in each day, and I will hold on, and I will keep on keeping on, inching forward through the days come what may, it is indeed the going ahead that matters, so on I go.
Happy September everyone, enjoy these last summer days and the coming of the golden days of autumn…