You know what’s cool about art? It doesn’t exist until you create it. Canvas, paper, metal, stone. The art doesn’t happen until you make it happen. Sometimes that’s a hard thing. Sometimes the “blank” is overwhelming, and we are paralyzed with fear.
And then my father died.
It was rather unexpected. He could have and should have died so many times before from major life-threatening surgeries, but he didn’t die. God’s grace, I know.
When my father left this world in 2008, I thought a part of me went with him. Though he would have never have been nominated for a father of the year award, he certainly was still a good influence in my life. In a way, my dad dared me to dream. He never laughed at me. He supported me. That support launched me into being on my own in a big city far from home. That belief in me was more foundational than I realized. The journey to the big city, Ft. Worth, Texas, was a catalyst for unraveling and unbecoming. I knew my father believed in me. I never realized how powerful his belief in me was until after his untimely death. Continue reading An Unexpected Death
If I’m going to be real then I’m going to write about the intimidation (a lifetime of it hidden from public view). If I’m going to write about what I don’t want to write about then I’m going to write about the experience of story coaching (life changingly good) and being amongst a very, very experienced, well-versed community of writers and feeling like I don’t quite fit in. If I’m going to be honest, then I’m going to write about how I feel so far out of my league. If I’m going to be honest I’m going to tell you that I’m ready to quit – and we just only started. I’m going to have to relive some pain, acknowledge some hurt and unbelief, and let people know it’s safe to come near me. I’m going to have to uncover old things that I don’t want to deal with but that I have to deal with in order to move forward. I’m going to dig my heels into the ground and build this dream. But… If I’m going to be honest, I’m letting you know I might quit. If I’m going to be honest, this is too much for me. If I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I can take it. I’m just being honest.
Ever catch a fleeting glimpse of yourself – the real self – like a flash of lightning? In an instant you see a picture of what who you could be, but in that same instant it’s gone. You grasp at it. Futile. Those moments can be frustrating, but I’m learning if I settle into the unrest of the moment, the flash will come again. It will stay moments longer. The more I give myself to being in the stillness of the chaos; those flashes turn to steady-staying light, and I can focus on the forming me. Then comes that moment. You know the one. It’s the AHA! moment of the soul. The moment you realize, “this is who I really am! Why have I been hiding?” Some days are harder than others. Some days are drudgery. You make yourself push through the foggy unclear. And some days you just have to crash your own life. I do mean literally.
The moment you decide to invest in yourself, like for real for real, is the moment the floodgates open; and that thing you were always designed to do flows out of you like a mighty, rushing river. You can’t stop it now. You get caught up in it. You get caught in the undertow.
You learn to relax rather than flailing about. You learn to swim in it. You learn its ebb and flow. You learn where danger lurks. You see where hidden beauty lies. You learn to plumb the depths. You learn to rise above the water line. You learn to navigate to the shore. You learn how to dive back in again and again.