This weekend marked a couple of things for me. It was Imbolc, which meant some solitary and group celebrations, and it was also the launch of my first nonfiction title, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls. At first, I was trying to compartmentalize the two in my mind, in part because I think I was worried that if I were patting myself on the back, then I wasn’t appropriately honoring the turning of the year, but then an art project helped me realize that it’s totally appropriate for me to celebrate myself and my faith in the same moment.
I pulled out a canvass and some chalk pastels, visions of orange fire and green Celtic knots in my brain (probably because I have been drooling over this beautiful Brigid print by Joanna Powell Colbert). I know my own visual artistic abilities always fall far short of my imagination, but I felt compelled to do something with my hands to honor Lady Brigid and her feast day.
After sketching, erasing, and playing with paint brushes and water, I’d covered the small canvas, but the work still felt incomplete. I went on a quest around the house for magazines to clip words from, but even then, something was missing. My hands reached for a printout about my book, but I hesitated. Wouldn’t it be arrogant to turn my offering to Brigid into something about myself and my craft? Ignoring my impulse, I went back to arranging the clippings from the magazine, but something drove me back to the printout, and I gave in.
When the piece was chalked, collaged, and sealed, I realized that I had managed to create not only an offering to Brigid, but an offering to myself as well. Sometimes, I’m not very kind to myself when it comes to my creativity. While I’m driven to weave words and I celebrate the stories when they are complete, I’m still learning how to honor when my writing takes the next step and leaps from my hands into the wide world. Often times, I catch myself brushing it off or almost apologizing; “Yes, I wrote a book, oh, look over there at that wild, glittery distraction!” Like many creative types, I love praise and recognition, but I’m almost afraid of it, too, because I know that the other side of that coin includes criticism and self-doubt.
This week, I offer thanks. Thanks to Brigid for her inspiring flame, thanks to the sun for starting to thaw the cold, hard clay, thanks to those publishers and readers who are willing to take a chance on me, and thanks to myself for daring to pursue this creative passion.
It’s a perfect time to create something that honors yourself and honors divinity. What you will do with your own blank canvas?