Joyful Loneliness

     We are nearing December, and it has been a moment since I’ve felt accomplished by something. Naturally, I felt that I failed in some way. I have seemed stagnant to myself, as if I am stuck in perpetual waiting on things to never quite happen- a dog chasing its tail in circles.  So, now is the end of this blog, for now at least.

     In my time writing on this platform, I have been able to have some amazing conversation and invigorating messages from people I don’t even know.  Ultimately, this blog began as a simple goal for myself in 2016, and served as a sounding board of thoughts or lessons.  It fulfilled its purpose, and winding down for the rest of this season, I have a new goal for December.  In my head it goes something like, “to be reminded of myself”.

     I know it doesn’t make much sense, but to me, it is a sense of progression. I have done alright this year, being both the happiest and saddest year of my life.  The most change I’ve ever experience has happened in the past 11 months, yet ,still at the end of it all, I feel as if I’ve moved an inch.  It’s incredible that after a year of laughing, crying and moving so much, I am not proud of myself for just making it through.  I’ve poured out so much of myself into everything other than myself, I’ve exhausted every avenue of joyful loneliness.  The month of December, I will not be dormant, but I will be self reflective.  I’m disconnecting from this blog and my pursuance of progression of everything except my spiritual walk.  

     I will continue my thoughts in a different way going into the next year, I just haven’t decided what that goal will be yet.  I want express my gratefulness to my friends, family and randoms for giving the time to read my thoughts on life.  I cannot explain how meaningful your thoughts are as well.

Blurb

     People find so many different things to put faith in nowadays. Jobs, social status, money, sexual orientation, background, art, gender, the list goes on.  Quite frankly, none of it brings anything but emptiness, and no matter how you define yourself, you will not be right.  There will always be people that get under your skin, there will always be something you can’t quite grasp yet, and there will always be something you won’t understand.  

     I’m totally ranting to myself as well as to anyone who will read this.  I personally throw myself so much into my art and money that I am constantly wandering off from what truly fills me.  I allow my life to be characterized by what the world is whispering for me to chase after.  And, I’m tired of people saying, “If you’re not with it, you are against it.”  Jesus does not care what you believe equality looks like, or what you think is fair or unfair. He cares about you, and that is the only definition that will bring you comfort.

     I’m sick of people believing lies of comfort and saying, “I’m just an anxious person,” then living life in fear.  I’m fed up with people putting everything they have into being “gay” or “black” or “woman” while we are all human. I’m disgusted by people that look down on people for being those things, but I’m just as broken up when those people fight back with the same hatred.  I’m blessed to be able to see people accept part of what make them who they are, but when it is taken to the extreme enough to be all you are, it will break and kill you.  

     I’m a Christian that believes there is one Hope for humanity.  I love you, not because you are anything other than an un-deserving human just like I am.   We are all extended the same perfect grace and love.  We all mess up a ton.  We laugh and cry.  If we stand together, stop believing lies that culture is telling us, and begin to just love others well, we will make an indention on each generation.  If we stop telling ourselves we are people living as these silly, unfulfilling and broken names, we can finally live and love with no holds barred.  If we stop putting our identity in imperfect personas and begin living our lives full of our perfect Creator, we will love hard enough to change people’s lives.  

Wandering

  January of this year, I felt like I was in the desert.  I felt like I had walked in circles, completely lost. It caused me to rest in places that harmed me, and I never stopped worrying.  I drained myself of passion, forcing myself to “power through” my troubles.  I then was brought to a place that I could not simply run through. I was broken.

     I ran to where I knew comfort was, thinking I was going to met with discipline.  Instead, I was met with over-powering compassion.  Unlike any sort of rest I had before, I was filled with supernatural peace.  I prayed it would not stop, but did not remember that I had to keep up my end of the deal too.

     I feel wrestled to the ground. After finally growing sick of wandering, I gave in to what I know would truly fill me, only to immediately lose important fights and start running back into the desert.  I know exactly what I’ve fallen into. I know it won’t ever bring me rest.  I know that wandering will leave my soul destitute and failed.  But, it is the story of this year.  It has not been the worst, but it’s been the hardest.

     I’ve learned more about myself, and how to treat others.  I’ve also learned about lawsuits, freelance, love, intentionality, friendships, forgiveness, mental illness and suicide.  I know there will be harder, but my final goal for this year, is to take a breath. I want to mirror who I was made for.  

Time Management

     This is something I truly struggle with.  Day in and day out, I’m losing track of time.  The calendar is becoming my close friend, but he taunts me quietly while I continue to fall into terrible time habits.  Most of us have busy schedules,  but the freelance life is a hard one to walk.  It never seems you can disconnect without missing out on something big.  Or may be that is just what I’ve been told, or read, or watched, or something.  I’ve noticed though, that as I allow my attention to turn into a 24/7 obsession with keeping up, it turns into a constricting marathon.  My mind, for lack of a better term, becomes dulled.  There isn’t much time to imagine and dream, when you fill the entirety of said time with stress and plans. The hardest part of being unorganized, is the habit of staying that way.  So, to break that, I’m forcing myself to live by a weekly schedule from 9-5 for a season.  I want time to be my ally, not a nuisance.  Hopefully this encourages some conversation or some tips.  

A Prayer for Loss

     Don’t leave my sight.  Don’t allow me to fear that I’m forsaken.  Don’t make me cry.  Don’t let me feel alone.  Don’t.  I will not let myself feel the pain of stolen hope or grovel in an attempt to replace my brokenness with pride.  Give me belief to destroy the unbelief that You are still good.  Let me realize that goodness is You and not something that we created to define you.  Let me abide in You, and I am loved by Love Himself.  Don’t let me forget that death is not the only thing You are sovereign over, and life is Yours as well.  Glory is only attained by not forgetting that all of it belongs to You.  Give me a heart that is not crushed when sin is chosen over righteousness.  Don’t let my anger replace the love I am to have for others, even when his sin steals my promise.  Let my identity be in what I’ve gained through you and not what I’ve lost through my fallen humanity.  

     Love me in my weakness, so You can be shown strong.  Love me in my anger, so I can portray Your patience and elegance.  Love me in my fear, so I can show Your righteous aggression and overwhelming passion.  Love me in my loss, so I can feel Your desire for my heart.  Love me in my rebellion, so I can be the embodiment of Your redemptive power.  Love me in my brokenness, so others can see Your supernatural healing.  

     Call me Your son, and give me Your heart.  I know You hurt when Your children hurt, but ultimately my joy is Your joy.  I am not defeated by any loss of this world, for You won my life in Your death and resurrection. Remind me daily that I am a slave to Your righteousness, and in my broken soul, You make me whole and new.  Thank you for meeting me in my broken place.  Thank You for fighting for us.  Thank You for pursuing us through our darkness.  Thank You for holding us, Father.  Make my life a testament to Your perfect Goodness, so others may know You love too.

Eleven

Your fingers touch mine, my sheets melt to leave my body lost.

Your fingers touch mine, bonding over something we forgot.

Your fingers touch mine, discontent from dreaming all in blues.

Your fingers touch mine, and sweet breath echoes in a longing look from you.

Your fingers touch mine, I’m waiting for this bed to spit me out.

Your fingers touch mine, Your eyelashes long outrun my doubt.

I want to feel the bend of your legs.  And see all the uncertainty that begs.Our hands are way too far but oftly close, to want an answer from a ghost.

Your fingers touch mine, you asked of me to give you all

Your fingers touch mine, a split in mind, a schizophrenic call.

Your fingers touch mine, a line in the dust you used to change my mind.

Your fingers touch mine, the difference is a hand behind my lie.

Your fingers touch mine, I nearly killed myself, but darling now I’m fine.

Your fingers touch mine.

Cope

     I’ve been in a weird headspace.  I guess it’s more of a mechanism of defense from what I don’t feel comfortable with.  That said, it’s not exactly the worst place I could be in my mind.  I’m coming to a point where I’m ok with being uncomfortable and relying on the Lord to shape my path.  Sometimes it’s just more strenuous than others.  

     Most of the time I have a specific lesson I’m learning, but lately I’ve just been coping with change.  As anything with creativity acts, there are pivotal points that shape your career.  In the same way, life seems to happen, which shifts the way your creativity flows.  Sometimes this occurs in writer’s block or laziness, and other times it boosts productivity.  Nonetheless, coping always has to exist in order for us to keep up with our ever-changing selves.

     Recently I’ve started a study called “Mourning and Dancing” on an app called He Reads Truth. It is a study of living in freedom beyond situations to be mourned.  Even if you are not a believer in Jesus, there is real truth that I’ve found that anyone can relate to.  Jesus teaches us that there are times to be truly mournful, but there comes a time to forgive and allow ourselves to heal to dance another day.  I can’t remember a time that I’ve felt more vulnerable in my personal walk, so I thought I would just share the chaos in my head on how I’m coping with things.  This definitely isn’t as eloquent as I would like it to sound, but it definitely reflects my heart right now.

 

Muse

    We all have something we are obsessed with.  It normally comes in fits of obsession though, like an album that we constantly listen to or a short film we can’t stop watching.  Whether it inspires, creates, challenges or examines we all have kicks of binging something. Lately, I’ve lost interest in being aware of a Muse, but I was reminded by a photo of my lovely girlfriend.  It was the first time I changed my background screen, and until lately, I’ve forgotten what the feeling of being obsessed with something was like.  Obsessed not in an uncontrollable, chaotic or addictive way,  but more of a beautifully lost, wide-eyed child.  It changes the way you analyze the world around you, or art, or a human.  It’s a Muse, and it’s an attachment that relays your emotion or feelings.  

    My Muse right now, is my lovely girlfriend.  She inspires me to be better each day, and loves me regardless.  So, I decided to create a project around her.  Allowing my different realms to collide, I’m creating a book of photos with her as the subject.  The goal is to show her beauty while also allowing others to see the beauty differently by making her inconspicuous.  

    We as artists should always let our minds wander, and a fixation on something we find beautiful is a great way to organically let that happen.  A lot of my life recently has been finding new ways to grow.  I unintentionally neglected growth by focusing too much on narrowing my views on my own art and inspirations.  I’m learning that having a grateful heart is key to an open mind.  Acknowledging thankfulness as a source of inspiration keeps us joyful and able to chase our dreams.  Never losing heart in our art can be a battle.  That battle can be won by finding our own Muse, and thankfully letting it speak to our soul.  

Allowing

    I’ve reached a point in my work where I can’t force growth.  I’m learning that taste is an amalgamation of things I like, but more so than naught, things I don’t like.  Allowing myself to give into instinct is proving to be the one consistent piece of my work.  Taste naturally takes a turn to style when it comes to visual art.  The first step as an artist, at least for me, was to do as much work as I possibly could, knowing that my taste had not fully taken form.  In doing this, I learned that most of what I did, especially work done on the fly, I did not appreciate.  May be two images out of one-hundred were good enough that I preferred them, but very few images I could say I actually liked.  As I’ve grown in confidence with my art, I’ve also learned that the healthiest path is one that is filled with experimentation and a lack of stress.  When I constrict my sight to fit a style I want, I end up getting frustrated.  

    Allowing my vision to wander and explore ends up freeing my work from what I want it to be.  Often I let myself fall into the bad habit of overthinking a shot or setup.  It has never done me any good doing that.  I would rather let my ideas flow without constricting them, then try to have too much control over my images.  In that letting go, I learn from that flow, and my work is able to be influenced by the things I enjoy about visual art.

Adequacy

 I’ve started this post a few times.  Each time I backspace and start something else out of fear.  Part of these blog posts is an exploration of myself.  Every post is a realization or lesson, and sometimes it’s not pretty.  Self-adequacy has always been a struggle.  The basis of what I do is a visual mirror of who I am.  Everything I produce as an artist is a merge of circumstance, focus and taste.  I always have a hard time separating work life and personal life.  More often than naught, it causes me to look differently at myself, normally in a negative way.

     Adequacy is a big part of creative’s life.  Validation through taste and skill is a constant battle that normally leads to an unfulfilled, self-deprived feeling.  I think it’s partly the stage of social media that feeds the need of an audience’s backing.  But, I do also believe in our own boastfulness as artists, we create our own voids to fill.  If one takes a step back to look at a creative career, it’s a little backwards.  Our goal is to make a living of portraying ourselves in whatever art we have chosen.  We want to survive by making another enjoy our vision.  Visual, Conceptual, Lyrical.  The art business is a game of tug-of-war between personal reflection and not taking things personally.  It’s pretty contradictory.

     Anyway, it’s not a revelation or something that can ever be fixed.  I think it’s impossible to make a living out of taste without taking things personally.  In a room of one-hundred people, if a single human dislikes my work, I would feel inadequate.  Some people don’t feel that way, but it’s a battle for me.