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It's all leading somewhere, it all comes together..

You learn something from everything.. It’s all leading somewhere, it all comes together. Everyone says this, and it can be difficult to receive when you’re working jobs you don’t want or spending your days in ways that feel futile... But even still I believe it’s true. I believe it’s all serving a purpose, if only to teach me about people. If nothing else. Knowing this rainbow spectrum of crazy beautiful people across the random selection of jobs I’ve worked is.. Invaluable.

Especially if I am making art that I hope will somehow speak to these generations of my time. 

And all these circumstances of course also serve to challenge and grow the depth and character of my soul.. This in itself, as well, is everything.

Maybe it’s all coming together to finally make me someone who can speak in defense of my art. 

Maybe it’s all coming together to make my career. Or to enable me to take the opportunities available..

And if it’s only coming together to make me into the image of the God I serve, into a clearer, more pristine and accurate and lovely reflection of His face… Then that alone is everything. And this one thing is absolutely true even if nothing else. Nothing else is guaranteed, but nothing else matters.

How wild that the only thing that matters is the one thing I’m promised.

On Identity..

I walk through these New York City streets I’ve loved for so long and sometimes, like this afternoon, I catch a glimpse of a view of the architecture from a certain corner.. And it reminds me of a former self. Walking past the Met today I was vividly reminded of some old dreams.. A set of dreams from a certain phase of life. And I was tempted to fall into disappointment.  For a second I felt sad, remembering where I wanted to be. But then I remembered where I am. 

And all those old dreams were based on various manifestations of ego, or imagined scenarios that would build up this ideal of myself I wanted to create. And it’s all so hollow and it’s all so filled with this spirit-crushing anxiety. 

And God has never prospered the dreams when they were for my own glory. For this I am so grateful. 

And I look back on what I wanted to be when I was 25.. And I look at the woman I’m just now at 34 beginning to become and.. I’m so lucky. What an escape. How much greater and more expansive is this treasure of existence than what I even knew to ask for then...

I am wild and free. I lack for nothing. Even if I’m hungry. I know absolutely no lack. There is only abundance. 

And even this recognition can be dangerous because my identity and my ever-present pride can be caught up in the beautiful being God is making me into.. The glorious version of myself. And of course the moment I’m caught up in myself there’s no more glory. 

When the moon stops radiating the sun we can’t see it any more. 

All of this brought me today to the question of identity. Identity in Jesus, for those of us who believe in this: what does that mean? To be completely identified with Him. Must we be? Aren’t I also dancer, artist, woman, poet, wild and free, running with the wind.... All the things I love about myself as well as the things I’m still not sure of..?

But I believe that Jesus is God incarnate, the only One, and the Savior of the whole world. And I devote my life and all I am to Him. This belief requires nothing less. And... I don’t ever want to say “I serve Jesus and...” Or “I identify with Jesus and...”

But. He made me all these things. Non?

And then I realized that.... It’s all of the unique and even glorious parts of myself that I identify in Him. I was made to uniquely bear the image of my Creator. I show His beauty in a way no one else before or after me ever will. The same is true of each of us. And this beauty is.. From Him and through Him and to Him. 

So it’s not a question of differentiating between the faith self and the artist self and the feminine self etc etc. It’s all the same. It’s all from Him and through Him and to Him. 

So in abiding with my God and in fixing my eyes on my God... I become who I was made to be. And identity is not a question, because it’s all of Him, and it’s all radiant and unique to me. It fits perfectly and it’s glorious and it’s never about me. So I don’t have to push and strive to know myself better or be known in the world. That work is irrelevant. The only work is to abide in Jesus. 

And the more I can let go the more I find this wildly abundant life right where I’m standing. 

I present to you my work..

So… I’m in this season where I’m finding my creativity reawakened. My creativity and my courage. You can’t have creativity without courage. 

My life right now.. Is an epic mess. I’m a bit desperate and broken and lost.  But. Beginning simultaneously to be wildly joyful. Joyful like I’ve never known. Joy that is exuberant and fun and also… Strong. This joy is my strength. 

I realized a week or two ago that I’ve developed this crazy, chronic anxiety. I didn’t know.. It just came to me. I was walking and agonizing over unsolvable questions and I realized… I can’t remember the last time my whole mind wasn’t screaming at me in a kind of terror. And I can’t live like this. Which is a very dark place to be. 

It’s also an amazing place to be, because with the realization comes the ability to ask for healing. Merci Dieu. 

And somehow now… In surrender I already find healing. It’s amazing. Problems remain unsolved oui, but healing is far better than answers. (I mean if I must be homeless – please God no – but if I must be, I can do that if I can do it with joy…) So by some miracle I am laying my burdens down at the feet of Jesus and I am breathing again and I am believing for transformation yet I am transformed even before I fully believe…..

And here is my creativity restored. The breath of life in my spirit. My hope, which is everything. 

Creativity though must be carefully stewarded, consistently nurtured, and above all allowed to breathe. So while the ideas are singing again within my spirit, I have to make the space and listen to them. And I absolutely must act on them. Ideas that are breathing are flowing out and communing with the world and morphing constantly into newer brighter better beings. (Thus the wildly messy writing here.. Et oui the incorrect use of ellipses. I have a writer friend who can’t stand it, but I read once that Georgia O’Keeffe refused to subscribe to grammatical correctness in her letters, so.) Making space for these ideas will mean consistent time alone and remote, along with disciplined action to bring things into fruition. Even in a preliminary form. If I can’t paint a culminative work today, I can scribble a figure. I must do one or the other. 

 And I can write a raw, in-the-moment account of my tumultuous mind. 

So, for the moment, I present to you my work…..

Words Like a Paint Splatter

Alive in New York City. I walk through the streets everyday. These streets that I own. All of the cities and spaces. They’re mine. The whole world is mine because I’m a child of God. The way they look through the increasing vision of an awakening child. It’s like magic.

I’m so broken but…
I love that I get to be in this city.

I’m so blessed.
Even though life in this city sometimes feels impossible. Sometimes I feel that it cannot contain me. That there’s no space for me anywhere. The pressure makes me question my very existence. Why…?

I need to go to therapy. Which doesn’t bother me at all because I’m a Los Angeles-bohemian-gypsy-queen so of course I should be in therapy..

And sometimes I wonder if I should finally just move to LA. I love it there. Los Angeles reflects a certain part of my soul that no other place understands. But I know this desire to suddenly, violently move away from everything… It’s just my ongoing tendency to run away from myself. Which never works. And I come back again and again to the wisdom of Gregory in the end of Breakfast at Tiffany’s: “Everywhere you go, you just keep running into yourself.” (Et oui I read the book but if Truman wrote this line it was less memorable...) And how can I ever go so far away from Paris. New York is the perfect place. The greatest city in the world. Of course New Yorkers love saying that, but it’s true. I believe it completely.
So no, I’m not going to go to Los Angeles.

And yes, I am going to let my art be raw and a complete mess when it needs to be. Words like one giant splatter of paint. It’s better than holding back for a lifetime.

I’m good, thank you.

Summer Solstice, June 2019

I’m learning that life is so much larger than the things I think I want.

It’s the Summer Solstice today and, like so many of my days in recent memory, I desperately want this to be a new beginning. I’m craving the landmark moment that is forever described as “Before, and After...”

But of course it’s all a part of the journey and and an essential part and so I know I’ll never actually “arrive.” And there are thousands of things that are fully behind me. So many befores and afters. And there’s so much liberation in that.

And my Summer 2019 is only now just beginning and it’s already...
Unlike anything that’s ever been in my past.

I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of the “happiness cap,” how they say - I can’t remember who “they” are in this instance but I love them because it resonates so much - they say that we often pre-determine the level of happiness to which we’re allowed to achieve. And if anything is too good or too high above this sort of safety net, we self-sabotage or create imagined circumstances to keep our own happiness at whatever level we’ve chosen. So it’s completely fear-based, of course. But this doesn’t have to be. We can reject this tendency. We can be wildly happy. Flying high in the clouds. We can choose happiness, regardless of any fears attached...

So in this current season, which is for me somewhat desperate (insert details I don’t want to share and no one wants to know)... I can still say that it’s genuinely NEW. In the best sense. I’m in an awakening. I’ve never seen or experienced anything like this moment before. My heart is being healed and changed and my eyes... It feels like they’re being lifted up towards great expectations. At least, these were the words and thoughts I felt in my heart at the beginning of this year. And now, strangely, and through none of my own efforts, these sort of heavenly visions are being woven into my waking and sleeping and everyday existing…

I find myself renewed.