passion, creativity, illumination and getting published

pottery will always be my refuge, as long as my hands can move

(Photo of my hands courtesy of Julia Russell)

Passion effects who we are.  

When we open ourselves to our own pulsing, pumping, inexhaustible passion, things start to change.  Our hearts twist our mindsets, and our mindsets get wrenched out of the comfortable paradigms where they've been festering and attaching themselves to judgement and doubt.  I can't do this suddenly becomes well, I can at least try.... and when you try, your mindset gets kicked around even more.  More changes happen and your preconceptions about yourself get blown into the wind like petals on a fruit tree in May.

And you're left naked in your own discomfort, shoved head first out to where you were always meant to be.

Sometimes passion is borne of tremendous, overwhelming pain, as if trauma finally makes us snap to and say it's now or never.  Sometimes it's borne of a dead, aching heart that realizes mediocrity and settling for what works and nothing more could possibly be the worst prison of all.

However it comes, whatever the catalyst, the first few steps require bravery.  Our feet shake and our minds scream to run for cover. But if we can hang tough and not let the headwind blow us back into never trying, the path twists and what seemed like the loneliest walk ever becomes illuminated.

Illuminated by others who honor your journey and believe you.

Illuminated by others who will help you and guide you.

Illuminated by a spirit so strong that suddenly you understand there is no going back.  The comfort zone is the dead zone.  This new thing is the land of the living.  And then there, in front of you, in a haze, is your passion, waiting for you to come and take its hand and walk on.

If playing it safe is the thing you feel compelled to do, ask yourself this:  twenty years from now, if you're fortunate enough to live that long, how will you feel about having played it safe?  Will there be lingering doubt or regret for not having taken the less travelled road?  Maybe it's tough to project out that far.  But only you know what secret dreams rest inside.  And only you know what sacrifices you might have to personally make to get yourself on the path to realizing your dreams.

Vine Sketch - Sue Pownall

I've stepped out into the frosty cold a few times now.   My latest venture, a novel called True Vines, hits the market on November 1st.  I started writing True Vines after a life season of great personal distress, as if getting the words of this novel out of myself would bring me to a deeper understanding of my own sense of confusion.  That's exactly what happened;  in seeing the story that my own hands wrote, I could grasp more of my own - leading me to learn that we are capable of being our own healers.

True Vines is a story of rebuilding life at a fundamental level. Part of change is letting go of worry about the result.  This book, a teacher for me, is now ready to make its way into the world and whatever happens from this point forward, it's mine to accept. The cover is full of meaning.  The painting in the background is one that I did several years ago while trying to capture the beauty and isolation of where I live.   I live in a house on a hill.  It protects me and challenges me at the same time.  Superimposed over the painting is a beautiful illustration of vines by my friend and fellow artist Sue Pownall.  The vines are the connection, the object that moves everything forward - they produce the grapes that turn into wine that connect this little house with the outside world.

You can pre-order True Vines by clicking on the cover photo above.  It's a wonderful holiday gift for yourself and the women in your life.


Here's a short trailer to give you a feel for the book.