I moved the computer to the laundry room. Along with all of it’s tangled cords and lonely plugs-in’s waiting to meet their perfect fit connections. And it feels like I have placed an entire city into the sea. The skyscrapers of electric lights, neon advertisements, pulls on wants and where’s and it’s wreckage of static now silenced by the rhythmic hum of the tranquil waves of fall.
I can feel the quiet settling in, the open window studio days. I’m battening down the hatches and melting into the studio light. I’ve been holding things closer to my heart. The buzz of summer now dulling with color wheel shades of orange and sandy bottom beach bags hung to rest. I haven’t cut paper in almost three months. And my hands feel atrophied. I try to stay very intentional in the summer months about not working while the boys are home. I gather and sketch, collect verse and composition and wait for the opening to come when this collection of notes can be cut into symphonies.
It’s been a year, a year since I’ve put those words and cut pieces of paper into the world. A year without the protection of my island shyness, my insular armor and rusty shields. It’s been a year since Heart Box Studio opened the doors of my heart. And there are boats on my shores, sails opened wide, anchors lifted, adrift in the current and wind of trust.
So I cut again. I open the book and spread my fingers over the words and tear the page from the binding and cut. I start again and feel the beginning give it’s approving tip of the hat. And the words may fail and the paper may wrinkle and the adhesive may not hold. And a year ago, I hesitated at risk. I leaned into my heels and waited for assurances. I waited for the hand of absolutes and for sure’s to give me permission. A year ago I cowered at foolishness revealed. But one year, 365 days later, I am leaping and hurdling off cliffs I once kneeled below. I have been saying yes to the things that pile rocks inside the pit of my stomach. I no longer worship at the altar of outcome. Today I worship the holy, the divine intersection where creativity meets my hands, the sweet kiss of mornings lost in paint and paper and strobe light flickering sunshine through wind bent trees. And I wait for the Spirit to fill this empty cavern once again.
We went back to the dunes, the place where we made this movie last year, the little piece of film that inaugurated my first post. And the boys were one year smaller and the button was still broken on his pants and he still loved to wear his Frank Sinatra shirt.
"I lay down my fever dreams for you.
I believe them all,
even if they never came true."
We watched the birds become black silhouette cut outs against the afternoon sun. We watched as they hung on watercolor clouds, the miniature mobiles spinning in circles of migration. And the gray moon seagull with it’s wings dipped in charcoal opened his wing, revealing all that was hidden underneath, the tender space between heart and wing.
These wings, these fallen sails, drifting over open seas, wait for the spirit of trust to lift them into the clouds. And there was a call, a sweet reminder that the boat has made it to shore, reminding us the sail and the wing are the same.
And these wings have the distinct scent of sea and sand, travel and hand holding, the way a small child can smell of hard wind, seen only through the witness of tangles and knots in his hair.
“It's not as windy as before.”
Sometimes the wings take us places, places that live far outside the tiny island heart, well past memory and pain, over the moon and through the night.
Sometimes the wind picks up speed and it feels like the sky is too big, too wide to secure the ropes, the strings of the sail. And the trust is the eyes closed, dip and plunge past cloud and harbor. It is the bent wing giving in to the whispers of both breeze and squall. It is the hard blown gust that has me holding onto tree trunks and telephone poles, chasing after loose paper bewilderment.
And there is the kind of tornado wind, the wind that tears at your very walls, tearing your home apart, leaving parts of you in fields, hanging from tree limbs, thrown past median strips and county lines. The kind of wind that changes things forever, that comes without warning, in the middle of the night, ringing like the weight of steel on thin tracks. The kind of wind that leaves you collecting these parts of yourself for years, finding a lost smile under wood planks and deep gut, laughter in shallow, muddy creeks.
There are these people in my life, people who have whispered over me beautiful harmonies, sonnets of wisdom and encouragement. Voices that have plucked away all of the broken and torn feathers of my once upon a time wings.
I told myself I wouldn’t do it if it was just to keep things shiny, to hold up all of the right words, to paint a picture of false happiness, to maintain the facade of wings opened wide. I told myself I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t be brave, if I couldn’t bring my guts to the page, if I couldn’t watch fingers grow around nerves and worry.
Because the art is made to remove the layers, to allow God into a space of opening, where love sits in holy silence rearranging this forest inside my heart, making paths where there are thorns, holding the raw and igniting the beat.
Your words, your encouragement and strong arms, each a feather in the wings I carefully stretch wide over these dark forests.
And these are the new wings beginning again, a new shadowbox, that will connect together with many more to become a new story, a new girl with a new heart.
So, I will slip back into the quiet, find a seat in the unknown, faithfully close my eyes and let my heart be led. I will pin these new wings onto an open heart and take another leap into love’s open hands.
What is it for you? The thing that opens your sails, that lifts your wings over fear and wonder? What is the thing that calls your name in the early morning hours and taps on your shoulder from the bend of your knees? What is the thing you are sure you can’t do, the thing that has been written and folded into four corner square love letters and sealed for another life, another day, when the winds are calm and the sea has settled, when safety is just a dip of your toe into the full aquatic beauty of the underwater unknown. What is it that stirs your heart into wide open skies, that leaves feathers on the shores for you to discover?
Fly. Leap. Run off cliffs and feel the hands of grace catch you in the wide net of mistakes that don’t matter and fears that can’t fly. Because this creation is worth it. These new beginnings have God’s hands all over them, rooted deeply in the excavation of fear and the gentle cultivation of love.
And a giveaway for these one year old wings, because this art only has life if it is held in someone’s hands or reflected in someone’s eyes. This art only has life because of you, because of the space you give for splintered moments of fear, for the balanced hands that hold the sail, the feathers you have placed in wings that hover between the flight and the landing.
"Spread Your Beautiful Wings and Fly" is a 16" x 20" signed and framed giclee print of the original drawing. Simply leave your name in the comments and I will add you to the list. Let's meet back here on Tuesday, September 25th, and I will let you know who won:)
And when you finally spread your wings, when the wind has gathered and the sails have been lifted, be ready. Because you just never know where this wind may take you.
Thank you for a beautiful year.....
*I'm sorry, no international shipping for this giveaway.