Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beyond the Veil

I have started to write this text several times. There were too many ideas coming at me, and I was trying to catch them all. I felt panicked, and anxious. I had to find a way to calm myself down, to get back to myself. I stopped, drew in a long deep breath, held onto it, and then pushed it out slowly through my nose. Then I gently pressed the tip of my pen to the page, and the words flowed.

When I was in Montreal last week, I picked up Julia Cameron’s latest book, The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of “Enough”, which Cameron wrote with her long-time collaborator, Emma Lively. While I have never met Ms. Cameron in person, she has been through her writing a true companion on my writing journey. Some days I feel like I’m unable to go forward. Other days I doubt myself and my talent. There are times when things are going well and I just need a little reassurance to keep going. It is on those good and bad days that I return to Cameron’s books for just the right dose of medicine. Cameron has a way of putting things, giving clarity to situations that, to me, feel muddle or murky, and that have the power to “incapacitate” me.

Long before I pulled myself out of my last relationship, I had been silently asking the question, “Is Sherbrooke home?” I kept telling myself that it was home, trying to convince myself that it could be home. Yet, when I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure that Sherbrooke can be … home. I’m not taking an interest in the city or its inhabitants. I’ve pulled myself out of the art collective of which I was a member. I hole myself up at home. When I need entertainment, to connect with the world, I pack a bag and, in a mad dash, race off to Montreal or Quebec City. Something is afoot.

That something afoot is an inconvenient truth: I’m not really happy in Sherbrooke. I am a dreamer, and I dream big. I worked hard over the years to have my novel published, and last year that dream passed into reality. I’ve succeeded, since 2005, at exhibiting and selling my paintings. Writing music “secretly” for years, I dared to share it with the public, to let my heart sing. I dream big, yet here, in Sherbrooke, I feel small that dreams should be small and contained. From the outside, my life looks good like I’ve succeeded at blossoming where I’ve been planted but all the while I’ve been yearning for a very different life.

Sometimes it’s easy to stay in a relationship, a job, a city because staying is easier. But what does it mean, what does it give you, if it’s contrary to you er my heart’s desire? It means nothing at all.

As I write, I’m listening to Cissy Houston sing, “Something’s Bound to Happen When You Pray.” For the first time in several weeks I feel like I’m starting to realign myself with my values, with what matters most. I’m not quite sure what my next move is, how I go forward from here. Perhaps the Lord will make a way … perhaps the answer lies just over yonder. For the moment, all I can do is pray, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”

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