“The gift of life gives you the greatest opportunity to live and chance to rise above any situation. With hopeful attitude you can overcome any struggle.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
I recently received a Facebook message that held no context, only a link. The website belonged to a Tennessee artist whose blog featured a raw, emotional post explaining why her creativity was in transition from fine art to abstract.
Her mother, her muse, her biggest cheerleader suffered a massive stroke, dying twice over the previous year. I found myself reading and relating to words I could’ve written myself:
All of the passion I put into my career and art just disappeared. Life soon went from making it a “success journey” to just surviving. Even though my passion and motivation disappeared I didn’t stop. I kept on doing what I did. I was on autopilot and I was still performing at work.
Here’s what struck me: in a paralyzing loss of passion, she didn’t stop; she pivoted. Even though painting makes her sad; she mourns with winding lines, contrasting colors, and fluid motion reminiscent of her mother’s brain trauma… the point is, she STILL paints.
“Being an artist means forever healing your own wounds and at the same time endlessly exposing them.”
― Annette Messager
Much to my plant habit’s chagrin, we have little to no natural light in our home. After my grandmother passed in January, I was given her Christmas Cactus and an African Violet (a flower that reminds me of her).
These are well-traveled plants around our house, seeking just the right spot to flourish. Yet, they stood stagnant in each location; never blooming, budding, or growing new leaves. I grew frustrated. I doubted my green thumb.
When my grandfather passed six months later, my husband hung his banjo in our guest room and this gave me an idea: I moved the plants to the nightstand by the window.
The transformation was incredible. I snapped this photo and showed it to my mom. She smiled with tears in her eyes and said, “They found their happy place!”
I decided to post it a few days ago with the caption, “If these guys can make a comeback, so can I.”
Our circumstances are no one’s fault, we just need find our happy place within them.
Here’s to all of us growing through what we’re going through.