The Illustration Friday word of the week is launch.
Isn’t a sabbatical supposed to be about rest and relax? Must have got my directions wrong…
Every morning, I launch myself into the day, mind already racing with nagging, sharp-clawed thoughts like, “Where does my work fit? Fine Art? Book Illustration? Watercolor? Oil? Paper…Claybord…Canvas…Wood?” And finally, the last bus stop on the perpetual loop, before it all starts over again, “Should I just get a job bagging groceries so I don’t have to think about this?”
Maddening. My mirror tells me that I’m looking haggard, and all of that mostly raw, mostly vegetarian ‘clean living’ is not keeping up with the stress of The Gray Zone. I need a vacation from my sabbatical. (Waiting on a publisher’s timing, as I told a friend this morning, is not helping one bit either…)
I went to the library yesterday, cruising for inspiration and solace, and the 1979 classic, Love is Letting Go of Fear, by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., (based on A Course in Miracles) jumped out at me. I’ve read this book before, the latest time being maybe fifteen years ago, but Jampolsky’s words took on new meaning when applied to my Artist Dilemmas. (Last time I was reading it relative to Relationships.)
I’m reading it deeper this time, and so the going is slower. But the words on page 23 jolted something deep, and started a chain of thoughts that were a lot less painful than my usual mental company. Jampolsky writes,
“Singleness of Goal Peace of mind as our single goal is the most potent motivating force we can have. To have inner peace we need to be consistent in having peace of mind as our single goal. Instead of having a single goal, we are all tempted to try to juggle multiple goals. Juggling can only serve to deflect our focus and increase our conflict. We can achieve consistency in keeping this single goal in mind by reminding ourselves of the singleness of purpose we would have if we suddenly found ourselves drowning in the ocean. We would, in that situation, put all of our attention into the single goal of staying afloat and breathing for survival.”
Maybe today I’ll try pretending that all truly is well. What have I got to lose, except my neurosis??
“All is Well” (watercolor, pen & ink, gouache) This painting is a newer version of “First Flight” which you can see here.