paying attention

To pay attention,
this is our endless and proper work.
— mary oliver

It's near the end of the day and I am finally getting here, to this chair, to this desk. Today has been full of anxious excitement. We are one step closer to our dream home. We are still waiting. I mindlessly ate food today that I haven't eaten in over two weeks ... graham crackers and peanut butter ... and my body is speaking loudly and clearly that she does not function well with those foods. The excitement of the day is contributing to the aches and I feel sluggish. But I am here. Showing up just as I did this morning to finish the painting page that I began yesterday.


I thought to myself, hmmmm, another She showed up asking for drips from her hair/head. Isn't that interesting? I have no idea what it means but I am paying attention. These painted pages know before I know. Maybe they are leading me or maybe they are just there as confirmation later when I figure something out. Still, there are messages for me.

At the beginning of the year, I couldn't stop painting circles. Not just circles, but circles that included some sort of cross mark. I thought a lot about why those symbols were showing up and I had conversation with other trusted intuitive artists. It could have been targets or someone else said it looked like crossroads. All I knew was that I was compelled to paint them. It felt like something ancient and primal.

I defined the circle paintings as portals, as a way of getting to somewhere else. I imagined if I could place the painting on the ground and step into the circle, it would transport me to wear I so wanted to be. I wasn't even sure where that was; I couldn't have described it or maybe I couldn't allow myself to describe it. 

When I visited my friend, Betsy, last week, we spent a chunk of time looking through my painting journals, searching for patterns and meaning. We talked about the portals. Later on as I struggled to find words to describe how my life has been feeling lately, I said, "If I could fly way up in the sky and get a bird's eye view of my life, I would see a coming convergence. It's like all of these roads are speeding toward one place." 

Betsy stood up, went to the paper we had taped onto the wall, and drew my symbol and wrote:

The pages knew. They were guiding me, reassuring me. I think I did pay attention. I have been experiencing deep shifts and I have explored many creative paths this year. I have also begun exploring ways of offering my work and just what that work looks like and how to describe it. All the roads are converging. 

Betsy led me into a deeper understanding of my pages and this practice. She taught me to pay closer attention and to question and listen more deeply. All things that I know to do but sometimes I float out into the stratosphere with my thoughts and ideas and I forget what I know. I need tethers to guide me back. Betsy is one of those tethers; she and two other artist friends. We hold up the mirror to each other and speak reminders of truth. 

It's a different kind of paying attention. Usually what we are saying to another, we need to hear for ourselves. 

Well, it's later than it was when I began. The night calls and I hope for sleep. I sort of feel like a child on Christmas Eve. If I can just settle down and go to sleep, the morning will come faster and with it, I hope, glorious news.