after more than half a century have I finally discovered I’m an artist?
And am practicing my art?
And yes, I’m more than half-a-century old,
five years more than half-a-century, to be exact.
Maybe the question should be phrased the other way ‘round,
“Why did it take me so long to discover I’m an artist?”
Rather, “Why did it take so many years to release my inner artist?”Rather, “… to accept myself as an artist?”)
Artists don’t fit into the holes that the pegs go into.
You know, square peg, square hole.
It’s not even a matter of a triangle peg in a round hole,
we artists just aren’t peg-n-hole material.
We’re free-form, and there’s no hole or peg for that.
Yet, I spent waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too many years
trying to fit into a hole that I’m not designed for.
I’m not a peg.
Still, why so long?
Well, besides being an artist,
I’m a people pleaser.
(It’s ok, it’s how Papa God made me.)
Not, I repeat, NOT to be confused with being a doormat.
That said, I was a doormat.
I tried to please everyone.
And by everyone,
I mean literally,
Which, I now know,
There was one person I failed to,
try to please.
Yeah. I didn’t think I should please me,
didn’t think I was worth anybody trying to make me happy.
Not even God…..
So, I did my best to fit in some hole,
or human mold.
And I managed,
But I did not flourish.
I did not thrive.
I did not grow
My art was stifled.
I was stifled.
I was dying inside.
My soul was dying,
my heart was dying.
My identity was dying.
But I’m tenacious.
Sometimes we ask, “Why me, God?” when disaster strikes.
I ask, “Why me?” when I think about the grace He’s poured on me,
“Why me?” when I realize
I didn’t give up
[I wanted to, a million times, tried to, a million times]
but I can’t.
It’s not in me to quit.
when it’s all falling apart and yet I hang on.
It’s simple really,
I have a purpose,
we all do.
And to discover that,
to discover and embrace my purpose and my destiny,
that’s the journey.
That’s the discovery.
through the depression,
of trying to be something I’m not.
Fought against it,
tried to squelch it,
hide my artistic skills.
Was embarrassed to share my talent,
thought I was being vain.
Papa has placed the gift in me,
in each of us,
for the very purpose of sharing it!
A treasure cannot stay buried.
And my artist has risen,
rather like a Phoenix,
from the ashes of the disaster of trying to conform to a peg-hole,
of trying to remain confined to a box.
I’m not made to conform,
I’m made to transform,
to BE transformed,
by the Word of God.
And the more His Word is established in me,
the more of what He created me to be
is also established.
I knew I was a musician always.
Piano lessons as a little girl (taught by my Mom,)
voice lessons at age 12,
[intended] vocal music major in college.
and I got married instead.
And had babies.
And got divorced.
I couldn’t settle,
my artist was trying,
trying to get out,
but I wouldn’t let her.
No job assignment satisfied,
and no job lasted.
(many were temp assignments, anyway)
My first speaking role in a theatre production
was Dr. Armstrong in Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.
I was a sophomore in high school.
My British accent got me that role.
And no, I’ve never been there,
and yes, now I’m thinking en accent as I type.
My favorite thing to say en accent is,
“I’m born in Mississippi.”
Not sure how,
but it’s there,
this ability with accents,
and with words.
(something about being a writer…)
It’s just there,
God just popped it in me head,
and this accent anyway,
the British one,
I can turn on and off like a spigot.
I play the piano.
And, of course,
I said for years I couldn’t draw, though.
I was wrong.
Had to take Drawing as part of my college curriculum and discovered that
a) I can, in fact, draw, and
b) I’m pretty darn good – and
c) I like it!
And that brings me to my writing.
Like my accent, it’s just there.
I don’t “conversate,”
I tell stories.
A journalist I’m not.
Short n sweet n to the point,
(just perhaps) too much…..
I live my characters.
I’m there, in the story,
I feel every emotion,
walk every path,
climb every mountain…
I’m in the story.
It’s a phenomenon I can’t explain,
the story tells itself to me.
I am quite aware that there are not little people in my head,
talking to me.
I fully grasp that it’s my imagination that is producing,
generating my stories.
But within the theatre of my mind,
my characters tell the story to me.
I sometimes don’t know what’s going to happen
until I write it.
Can’t explain it, it’s just there.
Another thing about imagination.
It doesn’t stop.
There’s no shut off valve.
It’s going, twenty-four / seven.
It’s like a gajillion browser tabs open
all at once.
Yeah, it’s noisy in my head!!
Still, why now?
Why not 2012, or 2000?
Why not 1990, or 1984 (the year I was divorced.)
Why not 1977, the year I graduated high school?
Why not 2013, the year I graduated from college?
You know, with the pretty pretty degree,
the BFA in Interior Design?
Only Papa God knows.
He has a time and a season,
I believe we all miss it sometimes.
Truly, most of the time, we miss it.
But it doesn’t take Him by surprise.
it’s not really a foible in some
Divine time continuum,
perhaps it’s all
His timing after all.
Do I believe He needs the horrors,
the tragedies that befall us
to implement His plan?
Utterly and absolutely no.
You’ve seen it on Facebook,
we all have,
“God won’t give us more than we can handle.”
“He only give His strongest battles to the strongest warriors.”
I have a problem with that,and my problem with it is that
most of the mess we have in our lives
we bring on ourselves.
He’s the One Who gets us out of the mess,
He’s the One Who keeps it from being messier than it already is.
Maybe that’s why I’m so tenacious after all,
why I never give up.
But I do know He uses all the messes and horrors and tragedies for our good,
He tells us that.
When the worst of the worst happens,
He is there,
think footprints in the sand,
carrying us through.
And there is joy on the ‘other side,’
there is always joy on the other side.
He is that joy.
Because it’s His time and His purpose.
He’s brought me along some kind of journey to get here.
I embrace the artist in me,
the artist that I am.
Now I embrace what that will mean and look like.
Remember the “recovering inviblet?”
She didn’t even recognize herself as an artist,
couldn’t embrace herself at all.
But I’m not her anymore.
I’m not invisible,
I’m shining and I’m good
and it’s okay to say that.
I’ve got stories to tell,
and pictures to paint and draw,
dances to dance,
and a piano [to retrieve] so I can practice.
I’ve songs to sing,
and plays to play.
Because now is as good a time as any.
Because today is the day the Lord has made,
and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Because there’s no time like the present.
Because now won’t come again.
Because – For such a time as this. Esther 4:14