“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
― Wendell Berry
I went to the neighborhood grocery store today and the line outside and crowd inside was more busy than I had seen it since the very early, very panicky days of the pandemic. There’s a feeling of impending change, chaos, something hard to define. I have been asked a lot about what my plans are for Tuesday night, election night here in the US. This isn’t something I have had to consider in previous years, so I haven’t really had a good answer.
But like Wendell Berry, I recognize that the real journey begins when we realize there is no good answer, no clear road, and that real creative and innovative rewards can come from that as well. So, like other times when I have reached something that seems impossible to navigate around, I will be in my studio for the most part. When I’m creating with my hands, it frees up my mind to process without judgment, and in that processing I often find inspiration, motivation and hope. Honestly I will probably be spending less time online and more in my studio for the next few weeks, so if I don’t post for a little bit, that’s what’s-what.
Other things that my husband and I have planned for Tuesday include a text chain with his friends so that he feels socially connected, and also the two of us planning out some fun things for the remainder of 2020; things that are within our control in terms of geography, budget and pandemic considerations and so are unlikely to change or disappear. It is so important to have things to look forward to.
It will get better, it always does. Take care of yourself. Control what you can control and let the rest be what it will be. Go to your art materials, musical instrument, the draft of your novel or screenplay. Find a way to use this time for good.