…….And a time to every purpose under heaven.
My last blog post was January 17th, 2019 , approximately 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I have also barely touched my paintbrush in that time. Aside from a couple of commissions, which were godsends and made me get out to my studio, it's been a pretty long dormant season for this painter. In January, my mom moved in with us. She has dementia, so I'll just say the ensuing months were a big menagerie of conundrum, laughter, grief, patience, love and grace.
All you "sandwich" generation friends- which is in reality more like a panini press- you get me. It's finding the space in your soul and the freedom in your spirit to not numb out and just go through the motions, let alone create, that is most difficult when confronted with a loved one slowly being taken from you with Alzheimer's/ dementia.
For me, my mom has always been a beautiful friend and creative energy force in my life. I miss her "Barb-ness"- anyone who knows her understands that term- and on good days, I see a glimpse of it. Mom is in an assisted living place now and doing pretty well, better than what I could do for her, and our time together is less stressful now that she has a structure to her day. My family has been understanding, loving and patient during this time and for that I am so thankful . I feel a great load lifted, as well as guilt for feeling that way, but things are coming back into balance.
I'll tell you one piece of advice that guided me on this strange path; one of my "31 in 31" artist friends told me to think of myself as a tree during this time when I basically said, " I'm dried up". She told me to take the time to be still, and allow all the beauty I saw around me to feed my soul and my creativity, and to be patient with myself. The tree doesn't hurry, doesn't question it's dormancy, or the new growth to come. It trusts it's roots and knows instinctively that the dormant season naturally ends when the time comes.
The roots my mom gave me and I depended on always being available are also going dormant.. But they run deep, and I am finding they continue to feed me even as I let her go little by little. I am forever grateful and indebted to her for the depth and strength of those beautiful roots.
Here's to a new season of growth, for all of us.