Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Very Belated


It has been quite some time, in fact, many months since I visited this place. To be honest, I have started several posts, only to abandon them almost as soon as I began to write.

The last half of 2014 was busy, and I busied myself preparing for trips and teaching, so it was easy to sort-of ignore this blog space. After returning home, there were the holidays to occupy me.  As days passed, I began to wonder how I would ever explain my absence...

Last summer, as I continued struggling with grief from my mother's unexpected passing, I started mulling over an idea. Perhaps, I needed a sabbatical. I shared my thoughts with my husband in September.  Thankfully, he was supportive and thought it was good for me to take a breather.

As 2015 approached, I became more and more excited about a whole year to just paint, rest, and reflect. However in the beginning I felt drained, all I could think about was wrapping the repose of winter around a weary self. I spent time inside a warm home cooking comfort foods, catching up on reading, and doing housework to occupy my days. Then a cloud of guilt and fear settled in. I was not sure if I wanted to share with anyone that I was on sabbatical, worried I might not be missed.  I also felt bad having abandoned my business, which was something I had worked so hard to build. I found it difficult to unwind and just let go, which next brought an unwelcome state of creative paralysis with occasional tears.  All these years, I had been so driven by my next to-do that when there wasn't any must-do, I literally did not know what to do!

Luckily, I have time...   Time to just BE!  Only now am I starting to experience a return of my creative self.

As for the remainder of the year, I will continue to operate at a slower pace, intentionally allowing space for personal time and creative endeavors with moments to ponder thoughts on how I want to approach the future.  I will check-in from time to time, as I have art or news to share. Thank you, one and all, for your support and may I also wish you a very belated Happy New Year.


14 comments:

Jeannie said...

Welcome home! You have been sorely missed. I know too well what grief does to the creative spirit. I was beating myself up for being so uninterested in creating for months until it dawned on me why. There are still days where I wish I could call my Dad. He was my cheerleader and teacher. Give yourself time and know that you aren't alone. Sending huge hugs from the left coast. xoxo

Katherine Dunn said...

It does take time-after a loss, and then, you think it's time, and it's not. Taking time to be is great! And I understand that anxiety too, very much. I found my creativity after my mom died came in spurts, and am going on 2 years in April, I think this current spurt feels like it is going to last longer. Hang in there.

HollyM said...

Grieving is a process different and necessary to everyone. I think it is good that you recognized what you needed and did it. I often think I might like a little break but then feel guilt or maybe just the force of habit. I'm lucky though that for me blogging has kind of provided me the discipline to order my days and strive for more creativity. I am on disability and had to leave work, so it has filled a void for me.
I have missed your posts and your beautiful paintings but I'm glad you've taken the time to heal and that some creativity is sneaking back in. I'm sure the joy of observing the natural world and creating again will help too.

sjmcdowell said...

Welcome back dear Tracie. It felt so good to see your post today. When you are ready, in your own time and in your own way...we are here. Grief is a personal thing for each of us and how we handle it will not be the same way someone else might handle it. I find that after a rough period in my life that I have changed...not in a bad way, but I view things differently. When I lost my grandma many years ago now, I mourned her in so many different ways, for she was so many things to me. She played a big part in my love for creating things. When I started to create again I tried new things and found the thrill in learning new art skills. I kept my sewing skill, for that was a big part of what my grandma had taught me but I tried other creative avenues as well. I know that my grandma is so proud of me and I am so grateful to her and the care and love she showed to me. What ever you do Tracie...be happy with it. Nourishing ones soul will be the food to fuel your next journey in this life, wherever that may lead you. Love and God bless you. Susan Howes Rix xoxo

Janee Lensing said...

Thank you, Tracie, for a beautiful tribute to your loss, your time away, your healing, art and your own process. It feels like it gives words to something that I have struggled with for years - although not consciously facing as gracefully as yourself.

Seth said...

It sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to be doing. Allow yourself that and we will be here when ever you you share.

bockel24 said...

it´s good to see some news from you - I´ve missed your posts!

Glenda Hoagland said...

Tracie, this is a wonderful post. I am so glad that you are taking time for yourself to just breathe and let the energy and spirit flow. Any transition we make will have times of doubt and fear, but if we allow the spirit to guide us, we will come out on the other side just as you have willing to continue the journey and listen for the guidance and hope that we need. Blessings to you my friend.

Lynda Mills said...

You know I have missed you!! This is an excellent writing - my heart just aches for the pain you have had to experience. Please be assured of complete understanding and love extended to you. Grieving is a process of different levels….I would think especially with the suddenness of your Mom's death.
Take time Tracie - take care of yourself! You are too precious to too many to do anything less. xoxo

Hastypearl said...

Your blog STAYS on my iPad. Others that stop posting, get deleted. Your banner is enough for me. I stop in and admire it and wait for you when you are ready:) Laura

Say It In Color said...

I totally understand....I am there too...almost 3 yrs to re-settle in a new spot....relaxing so much lately....the hunger for satisfaction that art gave me is there, but only in my mind for now....I look forward too whenever or if you decide to share....I still cherish your book I have and watch the birds now more....just letting it come as it will...and enjoying the process by God's Hand and no one elses...Bless You and you ARE remembered.

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Tracie, coming back from a loss and the continued presence of grief is so very difficult and we all do it in our own way, and at our own pace. Thinking of you as you navigate these waters.

jillkuhn5384 said...

Hi Tracie, I have always admired your art! I recently purchased the book, No Excuses Art Journaling. Being a blogger myself, I was drawn to your site. Although you do not know me, I understand your heartache over loosing your mom. I still think of my own mom and she passed 16 years ago. Taking time for you is so important! It is a gift! Although it does not probably feel like one. Being gentle with yourself and allowing time to heal is something we don't often do. I'm glad you are taking care of you! I look forward to your return when you are ready. 💚

Ellen Tisdale said...

Hi Tracie,

I found your blog through the Sustainably Creative community. This was a lovely post, so honest and open, thank you for sharing this part of your journey. I hope your sabbatical year has been going well, and that you've been able to draw some comfort from creative practices.