There are days that feel like I am overtaken by a hurricane of emotions, or a tidal wave of sadness pushes me down, down, down. Then there are the quiet days, they are days of grace, a restorative that helps bring a sense of equanimity to my life, evens things out for a time, and I needed this time badly. I am living in a time of too many flare ups due to too much uncertainty and I have had perilous lows that were frightening. This quiet calm is like being in a sail boat out in the middle of a lake when the wind has gone and there is nothing to do save rest and relax and wait for the wind to pick up again.
I have been journalling a lot, drawing on nearly every page, drawing constantly. This is a soothing balm because it takes me out of my head and into my hands, and after a year and a half of drawing all kinds of ladies in my “100 Ladies” project I have found myself drawing the same woman over and over again. I have named her Tallulah, and am filling notebooks with her story. I am thinking about writing little books called “Tallulah’s World,” for people not only with bi polar disorder but anyone who lives outside the box, outsiders, square pegs in round holes, people who look at the world in a different way. Tallulah embraces all of that and is a funky sort of person.
I am loving drawing Tallulah, I love watching her come alive on the page, but what I am not doing this time is creating her world and this work in a frantic way that leads to mania and unease. I am allowing her to be born, I am letting the table rise, gently, and just enjoying the process. If I create books that will be lovely and if not the drawing and writing are healing me. And Tallulah is teaching me about myself. She is me and not me and in the end I am just letting her be who she is, but it is an act of discovery that is taking me to places I could not fully see and understand before. What sweet relief.
During these quiet days it is very difficult for me to deal with the outside world. I don’t like the phone. Unless it is one of my children or my best friend Jeff I really don’t want to talk to people and mostly my days are simply moving through silence. I have been spending time in the garden. I ordered lilac “bushes” although they are no more than rooted cuttings, a couple are 3 foot tall rooted twigs. I will grow them on on my deck garden so I can keep an eye on them. And I ordered a Jacaranda tree, though it too is just 3 feet tall it will be planted where it will grow. The Jacaranda tree can grow 25 to 40 feet and in the spring is full of fragrant purple blossoms. It will take the place of a tree that died not long after I was here and had to be removed. The front yard is too bare. The Jacaranda will fill the space in a beautiful and dramatic way. They grow quickly and I look forward to watching it grow. I deeply love trees and the ones on my property are family.
I am also planting seeds that need to go in in the fall, lots of poppies, somniferums or opium poppies as they are commonly called. And I am cleaning things out and weeding in my silent world where the dogs amble about around me and then we all come in and fall into a heap together and take a nap.
That is where I am headed now, to a sweet nap with my babies. We will sleep and we will dream and soon we will start again.