One of the tricks to unblocking your creativity in Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way is to take yourself out on an artist’s date at least weekly. This is a practice that takes much courage and dedication but has benefits untold. The goal is, of course, to help fill the well of your creativity so that you don’t run dry.
One of my recent artist’s dates didn’t start out as such. It started with rsvp’ing to a friend’s open studio. But our weekend got crammed with one event after another. Even when the goings-on are fun, it is tiring to a family of six to coordinate such a circus! I thought about not going to the studio, but I felt committed. Deep inside, I really wanted to go; I just didn’t know if we could pull it off.
With a van full of kids and places to be, my husband waited in said van while I went inside – by myself – to look at the photographs and studio, to make my appearance as promised and to hopefully arrange for portraits of the kids.
I wasn’t expecting what I received.
When I closed the door behind me, I let go of the past. I walked into the present, wide open to possibility. Gorgeous, indescribable black and white portraits of people I know and don’t know lined the walls. I visited with friends I treasure and don’t get to visit with nearly often enough. A morning’s misunderstanding was cleared. For the first time I realized that this was a treat for me.
I walked around into the studio, and instead of portraits, now I saw what the photographer entitled “Persistence.” You’ll have to go to him for the story, but I think it speaks for itself. The mostly floral images and the experimentation with technique and style whispered something to me I still don’t understand. After a good fill of admiring, I sat and visited with this gifted photographer.
Again, this openness, this connection I wasn’t expecting. A new friend, yes. A fellow Scorpio and one appreciative of spirituality and the journey therein (you could tell from the books on the shelves). As we spoke, an energy resonated from my heart/solar plexus (hard to be sure which), and about that time in our conversation he was saying something to the effect of how he is sensitive to the God within others, that he could sense it within me.
I didn’t ask for this; I didn’t expect it, nor the tears that swelled in my eyes. I just came to arrange for some photos of my kids, photos taken by someone who could capture the soul of a person in portrait. The photos will be taken and taken by someone who will recognize the God in my children; I got what I came for. I also got an experience of Spirit, though. I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. I am who I’m supposed to be, if even for a moment. Perhaps that is Persistence, too.
The best things in life come when you least expect it, when you’re not looking for them. The truth is, of course, that they’re there all along.