In the middle of my ordinary life, a letter came in the mail. I love what my favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan, says about getting a handwritten letter, “It is amazing how email has changed our lives. You ever get a handwritten letter in the mail today? “What…?… Has someone been kidnapped?”
The handwriting of this letter was familiar, one I have seen every day of my literate life. It was mine. The Lady of the Box asked each of us to write a letter to ourselves, reminding us of the truth and discoveries we found along the Artist’s Way and sometime in the future she would mail it to us. It certainly came at the right time for me, in the middle of ordinary. I remember telling myself not to overthink the task but to write first thoughts and feelings. I did. Folding the two page letter and stuffing it into the envelop without even giving it a cursory read was uncharacteristic of me, but knowing my propensity towards perfectionism, I recognized the danger and sealed it up as quickly as possible.
It has been months since Artist’s Way journey ended for me. As with most trips, the passing of time causes a forgetfulness to set in. Sure the memories are there, but ordinary life and its demands push the adventure into mental photo albums, dusty tomes on the shelves of my mind. A smell, a sound, a picture occasionally reminds me of the experience, causing me to pull down an album to reminisce, but time builds distance. This letter bridged that distance sending me back to a wonderful place, a place of revelation and discovery.
So, I thought I would share my letter with you. I didn’t wax eloquent, measuring every word for value, for beauty, so please don’t judge it’s primitive state. To be honest, after reading it, I’m not sure I would change a thing.
Hello to you!
Time has passed since your Artist’s Way experience, but maybe this letter will remind you of a few things.
- You are a Masterpiece, His poem, His creation, and He declares to the universe You Are Beautiful.
- Your inner critic is not the voice of truth. He is a discourager, a destroyer of dreams.
- Self protection can keep you from some harm, but it also keeps you away from life. Let God do the protecting.
- Remember to care for your artist. She needs the light of truth, encouragement, rest, music (lots of music), artist’s dates, and freedom.
- Celebrate what is happening now.
- Keep making small changes in your life.
- Remember, failure does not equal death!
- “I dwell in possibility.” – Emily Dickinson
- By striving for a masterpiece (perfectionism) you’ll end up with a monsterpiece.
- The words scared and sacred have the same letters in them. All is sacred, even fear.
- If you were a color, you’d be green. Spring has sprung in your heart, growing into your artistic future. Green abounds and covers everything.
- The ideal day involves creating freely without fear, but create anyway, even in the fear.
Remember this is a journey, a way of life. Being an artist is not a job or a task but a natural expression of who you are. You are the poem of the Poet, the words of the Writer, the notes of the Composer, the lyrics of the Song Writer, and “you contribute a verse to this great life. What will your verse be?”
I hope the verse is “she lived fully and had nothing left because she used it all for herself and for others to enjoy”. Give of yourself freely, generously, expressively, fearlessly, and fearfully if you have to. This is the life you have NOW. Live it! Be present. Enjoy it. Embrace now and worry less about what’s next.
You are not alone. God so desires to live this life with you, through you. Choose to live life with Him. Remember, apart from Him, you can do nothing.
Choose life, Susan, and remember to remember.
I hope you’re choosing life as well.