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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Creative Spirit Blog August 15,2022 Where Am I Going?

Nature Speaks Collage

“And I realize that no matter where I am, whether in a little room full of thoughts, or in the endless universe of stars and mountains, It’s all in my mind”. Jackm Kerouac

I know we have all experienced this. We are in the middle of a painting, and we step back and wonder where am I going? What do I do next? What does it need? I usually can step out into nature, take a walk, sit in the garden, pull a few weeds, examine some roots and find my MUSE. If something is a total failure, I know it can be recycled into another collage, I can gesso over it and start again on a textured surface, and of course collage is so forgiving. I can just add more paper or extract some I have already put on.

But chemo has left me with another experience that is not as easy for me to solve. Brain fog or “chemo brain” as they call it. I can’t find my words, and my thoughts are disjointed and disorganized that I lose my ability to attend to it. What to do when that happens? I have no clue. I have started this blog at least 10 times. I have lists of thoughts I can’t put together. In 10 starts I must have at least 100 different ideas but no connectors. It has been frustrating.

When I am painting, I count on my MUSE coming and with natures help ideas formulate, but it doesn’t work with my words. I have spent a month without being able to put words together, but at least I did complete some paintings. I worry that this is going to be a permanent problem. They assure me it is temporary. I certainly hope so and find hope when I have a day when things do fall into some semblance of order.

When it comes to my visual artistic creativity, the absolute best work I can do only comes from an intrinsic desire to do so. Reminding myself of those reasons often can help get me through a creative slump. I am used to dealing with creative slumps and blocks when I do a painting, because I know where I can find my inspiration. Does everything always work? No, but I know given time and perseverance I will find a solution to the problem.

This not being able to put words together in an understandable format is a new experience.

I have a new understanding of the students I have had over the years who suffered from attention deficit disorder We as teachers are taught how to handle it, but unless you have been there you really don’t understand it. This journey has been a learning experience on so many levels.

“Empathy grows as we learn.” – Alice Miller.

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