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Create Your Way to a Better Place

June 25, 2020 2:15 pm

I am definitely experiencing a lot of apprehension lately. This COVID landscape has me worrying about tomorrow. Right now, my house of cards is standing, but it feels like the foundation is in jeopardy. The health of myself and loved ones, the economy, and the general state of affairs in the US leaves me seeing my “Right Now” teetering. I feel like I am inside a bubble. It’s a safe bubble. The sun shines and things happen as usual. Outside my bubble things are not good. My bubble floats, bounces, and bumbles about. From my vantage point, all I see feels surreal. My sun shines too brightly and my day to day experience is all too good. In my art, I ask the question, “How long until my bubble pops?” I paint my way out of not knowing what tomorrow brings and the fear that comes with it. A paintbrush is my best escape from the disorienting liminal place I am stuck within.

My childhood home was a fortress gated by walls of pine trees. No matter what was happening in the outside world, those trees created a barrier that altered reality a bit. Anyone who drove up our driveway sensed that they had escaped the noise and distraction of daily life. The fullness of nature at its best was transforming. It was our own personal bubble. Today, my chest is tight and I am fearful that my bubble might pop. I do what I always do to reinforce my fortress: create. I get lost in art making and time slips away. The foreboding surreal sense I previously had is replaced by an unexpected sense of peace. I make little choices with little trees. I cut them out and I arrange them on my canvas. For a time, I feel sheltered from the outside world.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who is struggling with the present moment. I think the whole nation is holding its breath about “What’s Next.” It’s true that we can worry and most wouldn’t argue that worrying is reasonable. The only thing we have control over right now is our own personal bubble and how we reinforce it. That bubble might even pop, but if we wall up our fortress maybe the explosion will be tamed.

I wall up my fortress with little pine trees, a paint brush, and a canvas. Right now, it’s quiet inside my bubble and I think I have the peace I need to weather tomorrow’s storms. No matter what tomorrow brings, my “Right Now” is all mine. Apprehension is no longer what my present moment brings. Art is still my best escape from the disorienting liminal place I am stuck within. I can paint myself to a better place so that’s what I do.

What can you do with your “Right Now?” Is there a way you can create your way to a better place? You don’t have to be stuck with that feeling of apprehension that others are carrying with them right now. Creating can be your escape. If you make art, make more. If you don’t, start now. Build something, knit something, or make a collage. Sew something, redesign something, or discover a new recipe. Do something that gets you thinking about what you can do. You can create a new “Right Now” with the choice to create something new.