I had one of those weeks.
My iPhone drowned in a Scottish deluge even though it was inside my waterproof jacket. After speaking to 4 different Apple representatives I finally unearthed the truth of my situation. I will be without my phone for 5 weeks until I can pick up a replacement in Edinburgh before I fly back to Spain.
I also discovered that my credit card will be deactivated due to some unknown retail fraud that the company won’t reveal to me. The new one is being shipped to Portland so I will have to have my lovely and patient sister send me the replacement card to the next island I am headed to.
The weather here has been bleak. Very very bleak. The computer has been broadcasting severe weather warnings all week with stern looking exclamation points in orange triangles warning us not to venture outside. The storm beats on our windows and pounds the roof with hail, sleet and snow roaring through the vents with a ferocity that does not cease even through the wee hours of the night. There is no hiking outside. There is barely walking upright. The three of us working here are going a bit stir crazy. More than a week of this weather and we get giddy if we can take a quick trip down to the general store.
I am battling other storms this week. I am struggling to get momentum as I try to plan for my show in the spring and after several failed attempts at paintings I begin to question my skills and my motivations. I feel self-doubt hovering just over my shoulder, pressing on me, clouding my mind with uncertainty. When I can’t paint something that I think is ‘acceptable,’ then I feel useless. Since painting is what I am ‘producing’ right now, then I should at least be able to do that. Shouldn’t I? I hate that word. Producing. Producing feels like the opposite of creating.
Can’t I just be content with experiencing life? Traveling to amazing places and meeting new people? I can feel my stomach clench up and worry seeps in. I have to laugh at myself because I am actually worrying about the fact that I am failing to live in the moment. Oh, the irony. I have let doubt sweep in and knock me off my feet. I find myself here more than I’d like to admit. I think every artist experiences this more than we’d like to admit.
As I walked with Becca down to Renkins this morning to buy milk (for tea, of course) I shared with her my doubts. She is an incredibly talented artist yet understands and experiences the storm herself. She suggested I do something totally different for my upcoming stay on Iona. She suggested that I take the four weeks as a real retreat and not post at all.
WHAT? NOT POST? NOT SHARE?
hmmm. That might be good for me. That might be exactly what I need.
I will be painting on Iona, but if I can let go of the immediate sharing of my work, it could be a welcome break. I think I might take on this challenge. It does feel like a challenge, because I am fully aware how much I crave external validation. Considering I will be sans phone (which is how I take the pictures in order to share them on my blog) I think that God may already be pushing me in this direction regardless of my decision. So I am pondering and praying over this possibility.
The winds roar on, growing louder and louder as they torment the hostel, rattling the shingles, and bowing the windows. I draw the bay when I can see it through the rain pelting the glass. I finish it and I am reasonably happy. I am hoping for a bit of blue sky tomorrow. A bit of calm and quiet. One can always hope.