To Testify

I mentioned in recent posts (posts about The Circle of Promise starting with January 4th) that because I had occasionally fallen on my face in pursuit of promise, I felt prepared to testify how some creative leaps end as crashes. I think this is indisputable. Risking brings resilience only because you learn to pick yourself up and continue.

This art is from a series of prints with images created from photos of dogwood blossoms.

I've read several book reviews on Slate recently in the Double X blog, one about finding happiness and another about the over-selling of happiness, the latter by Barbara Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich is a breast cancer survivor who resents people who think breast cancer is always transformative. She doesn't think we should be smiling so much. I understand this conflict. And find myslef somewhere in the middle. I am sometimes a situational pessimist but overall a fierce, big-picture optimist. At one time or other I've uttered and believed both of these statements:

"Well, that didn't work. Maybe my dreams are a far-fetched fantasy and I need to get a real job."

"I know I have a song to sing, a promise to unfold, and I will continue no matter what."

Whining and self-pity do not further promise... although they can be such a good pairing with chocolate. On the other hand we do sometimes over-sell dreaming (I've been guilty of this) - without a plan dreaming can become reckless and delusional.

This is what I testify to:
When we leap, when we take risks, whether we land in a net, or crash to our knees, we are testing our resilience and testifying to a belief in our potential and power. Failure is where boldness is born. Failure is where fearless germinates before flowering - flowering into a fierce optimism fueled by purpose.

I'll be leaping to start my Fearless blog next week. I have a different intention for it than for this one ... which will also continue.

Getting a few other projects under control lately:

Finishing up our new little studio area. I'll share more when it's complete. It will serve as workshop and shipping and storage for card inventory.

My husband brought me a very sweet (but not sweet-smelling) New Year's gift... a load of manure (see last photo) from my sister and brother-in-laws farm - gathered from a local dairy - for the veggie garden we started in the backyard last year. Below is Mary and Greg's farm where a lot of the flowers are grown that I use in my art. Still looking beautiful and growing winter veggies in January.

I've always used compost or fertiziler as a metaphor for falilure. How our resilience and boldness grow from our risk-taking, our missteps, our mistakes. How the compost of fallen dreams or failed efforts holds the rich nutrients for future success.

My brother-in-law, Greg, filling our pickup with golden possibility.

***Regarding The Circle of Promise:
Mandalas/Diagrams and material in the posts below (from January 4th to today) were originally created in 1996-98 and developed into a workbook and other offerings. A Fearless Woman and You Have a Song to Sing are derived from this work. All writing and titles are copyrighted. It is shared for personal or educational use.

May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung. May you be forever young.   from Forever Young by Bob Dylan