Life takes us through so many unexpected twists and turns. I sometimes feel so engaged, so present, so ‘in control’ and other times, completely lost- as if skittering across the surface of an icy lake in ballet slippers….
I am deep in skittering right now. I think I’ve been deep in skittering more than deep in arabesques as of late. Just as I think I’ve got the path figured out, or the next step taken, clarity dissapears into a foggy unknown….
Small spots of controlled choreography have dotted the landscape; finding my foundation in Christ, then discovering it was there all along, just waiting for me to open my eyes to the presence. Reconnecting with John and getting married. Securing my second book production. Recognizing the value of being an ‘at a distance’ mom. The vision and manifestation of EncaustiKits and EncaustiCamp. These have all come as perfect pirouettes on the stage of my last few years.
But right now, I am skittering along in the unknown mire of melting ice-the accompaniment a bit off and the dance troupe moving to a different cadence. That same choreography that came together so well in the above moments is also revealing melted spots where the composition of the dance makes little or no sense whatsoever. The execution seems to be skewed at best. The steps don’t land where they ought and no part is working cohesively. Yet….
I’ve read; they say; word on the street is, that this is okay. I’m advised to continue through it-as if not faltering in the script but rather executing a perfect performance. That to fake it in this way will in the end, bring about the vision as it’s to be manifest and the entire composition will become clear and reveal a truly beautiful execution.
Not fake it in a false way mind you, but rather in the way that is to push through the fear, work through the doubt, stay focused despite any anxieties or naysayers and be true to the vision. And stay determined to stay determined even when up against your biggest adversary; self.
I’d love to tell you I have been steadfast; not a day of doubt, nary a moment of near tail-turning-to-run. But that would be a lie, and I won’t do that.
But I’ve persevered; thanks to a lot of help. Help I have been reluctant to embrace in the past and am now coming to realize is nothing like what such assistance used to be: A point of payback, a give with strings attached, a take it, but know there’s a cost to be extracted.
This new kind of help, from the right sources and situations, comes with blessings that not only have me leaping forward into the next graceful move, but wanting to payback for the sheer delight in the thanksgiving of it.
But I digress. I’m still in the melting ice.
This past weekend offered another glimpse into how the routine looks as its perfectly executed. I got a fleeting glance through the crack in the door at where this trip is taking me. And I can hardly contain myself for the anticipation; and find it hard to turn away from the glance for fear of having to move on it as well.
It’s that perfect moment snapshot that you want to savor, even though you know flipping to the next will continue to bring delight. That photo of a grinning face alongside the raised, flopping king salmon-the joy of the catch caught on film with the anxiety, strain and waiting forgotten behind the flash.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep on dancing: knowing from experience that the amount of delight is made measurable by the degree of sweat equity invested.
I’ve traveled a lot the last two years. I haven’t kept track of the locations and stops beyond scheduling and executing them; it’s just not my way to track things and log a record for posterity. I tend to live in the planning and execution rather than the revisiting of life~
Yet, some shine in my memory more brightly than others. I’ve just had one of those this past weekend.
I received an extra special addition with a last minute invitation to take part in an intimate encaustic retreat just two hours away at the Grunewald Guild.
Nestled in the mountains about two hours from Seattle, the Grunewald Guild could be the highlight of Plain, Washington. Plain is a spit of a town, easily missed as you visit Stevens Pass ski resort or travel on to Leavenworth-Washington state’s Bavarian Village (doesn’t every state have one?!)
Home to two popular recreational lakes, Lake Wenatchee and Fish Lake, Plain also sports a delicious espresso bar that shares real estate with the hardware store (sic gift shop, home décor, collectibles destination). A must stop, I imagine, on cold mountain-snowy drives.
But I stopped at none of these destination delights. I went straight for my retreat; Wax & Wane at Grunewald Guild.
Created and facilitated by Shannon Newby, a proficient group of encaustic artists and beeswaxy buffs came together for three days of sharing and connecting with registrants. And oh what a blessed connecting we had!
As the 11th hour addition, I had the joy of teaching, sharing and connecting without the angst of planning and weeks of preparation A bit of a guilty indulgence on my part I admit; I went in just hoping I could give back what I knew I would be blessed to take away. That can only be judged by the attendees: As for my take away?-received in spades!
In addition to several sessions of demonstration and work time in the wax, the weekend included presentations on bees, review of contemporary encaustic artists work, a screening of Sister Bee and a favorite for me and my take-away reason I was supposed to be there; a working model of my vision for my own retreat designs for 2012-a truly providential addition and a definitive sign of God’s guiding hand~
The entire retreat was onsite; registrants staying in the Guild accommodations, meals served by the staff chef and prayer and matins offered by the Guild director. A total package indulgence that inspired and spurned me on to staying the course I have been dreaming to follow.
And yet, as I continue into my scheduled ‘next’; traveling to Michigan, quickly followed by four days at ArtFest with immediate turn around flight to Phoenix for NAMTA, I slip and slide in my slippers over the melting ice; looking for a foothold in which to support my next arabesque and yet lingering on the near perfect execution of this weekends’ pirouette.
It is good.
I do not have to work from a clear and concisely written score; God does not work this way. I have to trust and faithfully plant my foot for the next move and leave the perfect execution up to his graceful attendance.
This first time test can be counted by Shannon as a successful foray into her goals and objectives for art and her faith. I was blessed to be graciously invited to be included in the weekend and couldn’t have come away with more affirmation of my goals in return.
And I will trust in the design as revealed thus far and look forward to the next opportunity to plant my foot, lift my toe high and dance into the next unknown. Propelled in faith; dancing through fear. It is His way. In love. Trish
And in that, I announce here, I will be hosting another encaustic retreat through Grunewald Guild in partnership with Becky Stromberg (a Wax&Wane instructor) November 6-11. Email for details! firstname.lastname@example.org