Over the past two weeks or so I've been painting small, glass ornaments. See below - tadaa! There's no method - just madness. I wish that I could say that there's some technique to making the little guys, but truly it's just combining colors, mixing, painting, and crossing my fingers until I feel it looks like something.
Which, oddly enough, that unorganized system seems to mimic how I currently feel about my life. Unplanned & terrifying, but limitless & creative.
These little projects are beginning to serve as little reminders that beautiful things can still be created without a plan. Now, I know that's not exactly sound advice for all areas of life. However, as a person that lives covered in to-do lists and constantly searches for what's next, I need to learn the benefit of taking each day as it comes -- to experience peace in the not-knowing.
It hasn't helped that teaching has conditioned this idea in me - this "needing to know". Lesson plans all have an objective, class is structured to the minute, there is always a specific end goal. The very thing that I am trying to resist is necessary in my professional life. And yet, when I take a step back and examine reality, I can't identify the objective, the agenda, the end goal. Things are fuzzy. And that can be terribly frustrating - but beautiful too.
Right now, I'm trying to navigate that messy space between structure & waiting. I don't know what's next. And that leads to crippling anxiety, mindless over-thinking, the stickiest of tears, shaky insecurities, and too many cookies. Whereas, I'm hoping it leads to openness, bravery, adventure, peace, and... more cookies.
I wish I had answers about what's next. For both of us. But for now, I'm learning to live in a space without many. And to be honest, maybe answers aren't the goal.
Therefore, let me leave you with some details about the process of painting these ornaments... that just so happens to apply just as much to living as it does to painting.
1. It's OK to wipe off the mistakes and start over - but the mistakes can be the most beautiful part.
2. Pay attention to the details.... but, don't forget to step back and look at the whole picture.
3. The end product can turn out different than what you imagined...and be better.