I know I know…the silence is deafening. It may appear that there has been no movement lately, but things are not as quiet as they appear. Life has been a tsunami of profound shifts. My parents have been going through a life threatening illness which has made the last year very challenging. Through the suffering there have been moments of stillness and beauty that are hard to describe. Stages unfold in waves…forgiveness, anger, love, resistance, grief, acceptance. We hit every note in the spectrum, each note being a necessary part of the process. There have been moments without words, only tears, and a hand touching another. The pain is staggering at times, but we have learned to walk with it and carry on with life. To stay in a creative flow and push the emotions aside at work has me digging deep for new ways of finding peace with the present moment. I have deep admiration for the caretakers of the world.
It's hard to believe that one year ago I was filled with paralyzing fear of speaking in public. 2014 has been my year of saying yes to things that scare the crap out of me. I have been doing a slew of readings, art activities and discussions with kids about bullying in schools and bookstores. It is by far the most rewarding work I have ever done. When I initially sat down at the drawing table I set the intention of sending love to the children with every line. I had no idea that the love would come rushing back tenfold.
In February I led a mind-body-creativity workshop during a yoga retreat in the Berkshires with my friend Beth and the lovely yoga teacher, Liza Keogh. What a stunning experience! To witness the group let go and transform while creating was fascinating. It was a weekend of community cooking, laughter, tears, and bonding with such beautiful women. With all that has been going on I have struggled with giving myself permission to relax and rejuvenate. But taking a step away and diving into yoga and meditation and connecting with like-minded souls has been such a gift. These new experiences have been a such a sweet surprise.
Last weekend I attended a Channeling Your Creativity workshop at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck led by Alanis Morisette and James Van Praagh. A weekend full of recognizing who or what has been holding me back, breaking down walls, being vulnerable, building friendships, journaling, meditating and dancing. A wall came down...a door opened. It doesn't get better than that.
And let’s not forget that illustrating has officially begun on our next children’s book! I can’t share any of the rough sketches, so there might not be any new artwork up for a while. It is a continuation of The Weird Series, but focusing on the journey of Thomas. I am nose to the grindstone (on weekends and weeknights). Oh how I hope one day I can be a full time illustrator/writer and devote all of my energies to what I love.