The sounds and smells of this forest let me know I am home.
I can close my eyes and inhale the deep, dank, musky smell of the of the earth, sweetened by the spring rains and the warming hint of summer.
I know I’m home as I walk through the woods and am followed by a chorus of bird calls, the winter wren, the black capped chickadee, and the dark eyed junco, the ones I have always heard and know so well.
In the distance there are cicadas in the trees, their buzz drowning out my own thoughts.
I know I am home as I hear the wind move through the trees and ever so gently encourage the leaves into spontaneous, communal dancing.
Today, I began to mourn the loss of my creative self that so long ago I buried deep within the recesses of my mind; never even allowing myself to return to the gravesite to pay my respects. The day of the burial I walked away without looking back, but could hear a faint cry for help as I had buried my artistic ambitions alive, left to suffocate beneath a mound of intellectualism, practicality, and cultural pressure. Instead I became a student, a teacher, a girlfriend and a traveler. I found artistic expression in nature and in my social circles, but never in myself. I retrained a passionate ambition to create, but with no outlet in my life, jumped from place to place, job to job, and vision to vision. Each new undertaking was only exciting as long as the initial newness and artistic imagery lasted. Not wanting to fully accept artistic death, I kept around a few hobbies, but routinely sabotaged my own work with self-doubt, distrust of others, and a wall of insecurity.
Today, my subconscious brought me back to the burial site and wouldn’t let me leave until I acknowledged what I had done. Now faced with the reality of my loss, I mourn, while at the same time fend off my inner voice that tells me to stop being silly and just let go once and for all. It tells me that I left behind my art for a reason and that it is a selfish and meaningless waste of time. I listen to these thoughts and weep at their cruelty.
Today as I grieve and question, I am also uplifted at the prospect of raising the dead and once again living an artistic life.
Today, I mourn, forgive and embrace the unknown.