Over the years, I’ve learned how to catch myself before I spin out of control emotionally. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, like many things concerning human emotions. It takes conscientious effort to reconstruct the old worn paths that meander through the woods of the mind that can send you spiraling into doom and gloom. And shoveling up old, painful memories, falsehoods, and fears on these pathways can lead to finding boulders in the middle of these paths. You must put them in a pile to be removed far from your vision, at least until you can be objective and perhaps use them later as a stone fence to protect your psyche. Sometimes they need to be broken up with a pick ax to make them smaller to use as gravel for your paths. I believe that our mind’s pathways occasionally need clearing and even re-routing for life’s journey. And when it’s done, it’s always important to plant some flowers alongside the newly constructed paths. Oh sure, you can keep traveling on the same road again and again, tripping, stumbling, and blaming the road agent. But you and everyone around you will become weary with the same damn travelogues.
Awhile back, I pick axed my way through a big boulder on one of my paths and used the stones to fill up a hole that I kept falling into on my way to the page of my manuscript or my canvas. My mantra (boulder) had become, “something’s missing!” It became stuck in the middle of my life many years ago when I decided to live creatively and not only dream creatively. It rolled onto my path when I decided to write stories, pick up a paintbrush, and learn a dance or new ways of expressing myself. I circumvented it and climbed over it, but after hitting up against it too many times, I became too hurt to even tiptoe around it. I think the boulder rolled onto this road in a valley I had traveled on that had become safely familiar.
I broke up the boulder of “something’s missing” that spoke of innate lack of talent and therefore, worth. Maybe it rolled onto my life’s path through mean-spirited teachers, terse editors, jealous friends, and poorly written manuscripts. There are a lot of reasons for boulders. Now each time I see the stones made from this boulder covering up the hole, I pick one up on my way to the page or canvas. One stone, one reminder, that “nothing’s missing” but what can be found on the page, on the canvas, or dance floor.
And I’ve also been thinking a lot about spirals lately. I’ve always been fascinated with similar patterns in nature such as the spiral pattern in the pinwheel galaxy, spiral seashells, fiddleheads, the fine spiral design in the pad of a finger, and many others. And as I thought about this in light of spiraling out of control in my emotions and creating new synapses and patterns of thought, I knew I’d always have thoughts spinning here and there, but why not? So what? As long as I can travel on them and perhaps change and color them? Move a boulder out of the way here and there. Wow, what a life. I hadn’t known I was a contractor and a carpenter. And as can be seen in nature, especially the pinwheel galaxy, there is a center. The center of command for my roadwork! Therefore, in my center (my chakra, soul, or whatever the term might be to someone somewhere), I can spiral not out of control, but into control through faith, strength, the core, and stillness. T.S. Eliot said in his Four Quartets, ‘Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance…’
I worked for months on my first surreal painting. The title is, Spiraling Into Control. You can ask my classmates in art class, but I don’t think I said aloud, even once, “something’s missing.”