My mother told me that her grandmother's final words were, "it's all downhill from here!" Her meaning was ambiguous - downhill hill as in it's all going to shit? Or, having reached the pinnacle, things were finally going to be easier?
The past year or so, full of triumphs and accomplishments, has also been very hard, when I expected it to be easier. I completed my master's, got my dream job teaching art at the high school level...two things I'd been wanting for a very long time. But having achieved them, I no longer had any goals or dreams to thwart the ever present specter of depression that moves in like a poison fog if I pause for even a moment.
I love this blog post by Hyperbole and a Half that so perfectly captures my experience of depression. I know the one thing that I can use for healing is creativity. But I sat time and time again at my studio table with new supplies and a semblance of organization and found no joy in what used to be so therapeutic. Eventually I stopped trying. And of course that makes going back to it even harder.
A year ago, I put myself on a waiting list for a display space in a nearby town. It is now time for that show, and that has triggered renewed creative energy (note to self - schedule more events like this). Today, I began curating my own works, my old painted friends laid out together. It was nice to see my own body of work.
Maybe its the very expensive block of very nice watercolor paper I indulged in yesterday, but today, with the house and afternoon all to myself, I finally started painting again with that flow that keeps me coming back to art making. So grateful that it has returned.