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On Unsolved Questions and Sneaky Art

(This edition of Pockets of Stillness newsletter was originally sent out a few weeks ago)

It feels like I am in this season of life where there is a gentle churn underneath. On the outside, I’ve moved countries, I’m settling into a new home, and I’m also in the midst of a course in Expressive Arts Therapy. I've also had to take the very hard decision of putting Slowing Down Circle on pause from next month.

On the inside, it feels like a whole new season is beginning. It feels like my course, my personal therapy in the last few years, and the chronological stage of life I’m in - all of these are bringing up a lot of things and making me re-examine stories and ideas I’ve taken for granted all my life. Interestingly enough, I haven’t felt very inclined to make the kind of art I’ve been making all these years. But I have been making art. Art that is emerging intuitively and without a plan or specific agenda. I'm curious to see how that will progress.

I'm also really appreciating how working with the arts in therapy is helping me access my subconscious a lot quicker and go much deeper than with just talk therapy.

So, with all that is going on on the outside and within, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to just BE, and not be doing all the time. It does take a ton of patience to not beat myself about not being as productive, or not making an income each month, and to just sit with all my questions of ‘what next?’ that come up every now and then.

During one such moment of angst, it was so timely that I came across these beautiful lines from the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

It sounds beautiful and poetic to think of ‘living the questions now’, but in reality, the wait can feel frustrating. In the meanwhile, the only thing I can do is to trust and just be. Again, easier said than done. So I’m putting this up as a reminder above my desk.


What I'm reading

Lynda Barry's work is something I'm finding truly delightful and absolutely enchanting at the moment. She is a cartoonist and a professor, and I'm currently reading her book called ‘Syllabus’ which outlines the approach to the classes she teaches. It is so incredibly refreshing, and makes me wish I could be in one of her classes. Here's a bit that is really inspiring me to get back to my journal habit, and to just start documenting everything again.

I'm also taken by Nishant Jain's Sneaky Art newsletter (how consistently and beautifully he writes!) and his lovely art. I'm really enjoying reading his newsletters and think you might too :) Go show him some love.

I intend to have a giveaway exclusively for my newsletter subscribers, so look out for that. Do subscribe if you're reading this on the blog.

As always, if you'd like to support my work, do consider buying a print or two from my store, a copy of the Slowing Down Art Journal, or a set of Let's Talk Trash books. As a newsletter subscriber, use code POCKETS10 at checkout for 10% off.

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