When Nothing Fades

The quiet nothing may have faded with my return to nature but it felt like that moment when the dark holds onto the rising morning sun, at some point the night lets go but drops down into the shadows to return later.

I left the studio and the office in the evenings to work in the garden. My hands planting green life in the dirt acclimated my connection to the earth. Watching the patterns of nature grow balanced my sense of doing with being. Restitution was soothing as creativity quickly returned to me. Business and stress dissolved into the cycle of nature leading to time in the studio where I was soon working once more.

Papers moving, typewriter keys tapping, piece after piece I produced with an urgency to keep up with the ideas clicking. I was happy to be creating prolifically again but there was still that sense of something unsettled. Being in nature brought restoration to my spirit but it was the walks along the river where the shadow of unsettlement followed me. Perhaps the trail in comparison to my garden was less doing and more being. It allowed my mind to explore the notions of why this nothing had come upon me. Sure the easy reply was that I was too busy but I needed to analyze the subconscious of why if there was one. The river trail was like being surrounded by dappled questions of mysterious noises of no seen sources and a quiet river to the side, wide moving with her secrets along the deep.

Back in the studio even with the nagging of the something of nothing, stress and workloads were manageable relative to approaching show dates. I felt revived working with a steady progress towards my goals. All goals but one – the long frame, the frame was 5.5” x 40” x .5″ and the paper size was prepared and cut at 1.63” x 38”. Every time I held the paper for this frame the nothing would slip over my mind. There would be an odd blankness; odd for the story for this unique frame was determined even before the frame left the antique store. Something was holding the story back and it was for this particular frame.

The vintage frame had a history of being on its on time. I saw it in an antique store and instantly connected to it. I knew I was to create a special piece to be framed in it. I picked it up, held it, inspected it, admired it, felt the excitement of my find but then a strange thing occurred, I found myself placing it back on the wall hook. Something held me back from the purchase. This hold lasted two years wanting to purchase it but sensing a block. Two years I watched the merchandiser move it from place to place, watched it go on and off sale, even watched the original price fluctuate. Each trip to the antique store I would find it, admire it but leave without it.

It did not make much sense to me why I felt the refrain from purchase when I was so connected to the idea of the frame nor did it make any sense to me during a recent visit to the antique store when I wondered what had changed as I put my truck in park knowing it was the day to buy. The senseless quandary did not occupy my mind long for I was anxious to finally purchase it, take it to the studio, clean it and begin the work for it. Once in the store I found the frame pushed off almost out of sight and real estate sale space. I smiled at the idea of the story it would frame as the attendant retrieved a ladder to reach it.

The metaphorical ladder lasted longer than my smile. The long frame arrived at the studio about the same time as the two-week nothing phase began. Progress halted as it sat in a fretting pile with everything else in the studio. The difference with the long frame was that it continued in the nothing phase when all other creative energy was cured by reconnecting with nature. I was beginning to wonder if the long frame was not connected to the nothing phase but something unrelated with similar symptoms. I needed a ladder to reach for answers; it was time to walk along the river.

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