“Every Swamp has its task,” says Jungian therapist James Hollis. I exhale: Thank you. Being an artist involves a fair amount of swamp. Places where I feel stuck, lost. Artistic goals claw at my heart. Also: propel my engine. Also: drain my blood. I cannot wrap my mouth around them. So they remain in the top left-hand corner of my brain. I support other people moving forward through trial and error. Easy. My husband sticks his nose in the studio with a quizzical expression. “It’s FIVE o’clock!” I’ve been here all day. I’m so close. I’m so close. Just a little lighter over here. More than one person has said to me, “I couldn’t cope with the insecurity of being an artist.” I smile. As if artists love insecurity. Maybe some do. Ambiguity drives me nuts. I check the news to see when The Covid Season will be over. There must be somewhere a grownup at the helm who can explain how things will unfold. There are things I don’t want to return to. I am not alone.
We all have some element of our lives we are pining to shed. Well-wishers might caution us against potential losses. Others might laugh at our indecision: Once you drop that agenda honey, your sails will fill with wind. You will fly. Some of us are hungry for some more luminous version of ourselves just around the corner. Freedom might be only a small step away. One thing is certain: It isn’t a real threshold when we are certain of the outcome.