And taking that step forward anyway and following the path I have now set out ... that is a very practical experience of true faith. You don't need to be religious to experience it. You just need to find the courage to trust yourself and in your capability to adapt and create value in life, regardless of all the uncertainty.
That kind of understanding - that you can make a lot of important impact on the world and it need not be to help with the most extreme suffering for it to be important - that is an understanding, I believe, that comes with age. I wouldn't mind a merge with my younger self with that perspective so I can make more impact sooner, but for lack of that, what I can do with the rest of my life will have to suffice.
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?" - T.S. Eliot
I realize and remember that there is no alternative to hope. Even if you have to wait to begin hoping for something better because your mind feels like ice. What you can't throw away is the awareness that there has to come a time again, when there will be a thaw. And then wait for that time. The alternative is to wait for nothing, which is death, and that is not an alternative.
... truth is that it is just one of those insanely detailed pencils-drawings that had a certain energy a long time ago, but no longer feels fresh. Even so I don't want to forget it. I want to use it as a reminder - and then as a motivation to start again. With something that is just as detailed and has just as much energy. For now this one is frozen in time. Like a shadowy slice of the past - almost literally - that is just there, always unfinished and kind of broken. Right before I myself was almost broken, in a whole other story of life. There is a strange fascination about that, and perhaps it is okay therefore to leave it. Perhaps it is okay that some things are reminders of just that.
This one I may hopefully be able to revive, too - some day. A hiatused project called "Their Promised Land", a graphic novel about the US Civil War. A young southern girl escapes a raid on her home plantation by Federal soldiers and flees into the wilderness. She is helped by a runaway slave. She heads for the front lines to try to find her brother who is in the Confederate army, hoping he is still alive. During the road trip she has to disguise herself as a boy in order to avoid getting captured or raped. This is one such time, just after the Second Battle of Manasses - where she still does not find her brother. But lots of trouble, of course ... I hope to be able to do this someday. There is something both magical and terrifying about the US Civil War. And plenty of stories.
I don't mind reviewing old art in order to 'catch up' to a certain date. In fact, I think this is just the right thing to do, if I am to go through with The Lines project for a whole year. I want to feel like I never had to start it.
Older lines ... a drawing of a 16 y.o. Carrie from my Shade of the Morning Sun-stories. I feel like I want to return to these stories, too - and soon. And that is always a good feeling.
It is amazing what imagination can be packed in a few blurry lines, which may look like Petrograd through the winter mist of 1921 to me, but everything else to anyone else. Or just lines. Welcome to The Lines
Hopefully the Trump experience (or whatever you wanna term it) can lead to some change of lasting value, like parts of Trump's base finally getting that it is not helpful to them or anyone else to be absurdly uncritical of such a flawed candidate. Or parts of the the anti-Trump voter segments finally getting that if they want to avoid another Trump they might want to concern themselves more with how people who wanted for Trump think and feel and what their problems are. In sum: less polarization in US society and not more. Currently, that looks like a very fragile hope as far as I can see, but I'm keeping it up anyway. What else is there to do?
But the flame inside me that wants to draw more is glowing again, I can feel it. I thought it would never do so. I thought I had found a shelf for it in me and left it there. But now it is glowing. I should be frustrated, because I don't want more change in priorities. I want steady priorities and as steady an environment as possible and the built something - finally - before I die. Time is passing ... On the other hand, maybe this is also a blessing. It sure feels like a very bright light. So despite all the mess it makes of my carefully set course over this past half year ... well, there it is. And I will have to explore it and decide where it should lead me. For it is a strong light.
My newest idea for scaling my business involves a community of idealistic people who do webshops, and a way to support them - whether they sell fair trade products, creativity to enlighten the world or something bio. In other words, change makers. I miss them, too. People who really are into it. Like Char. But as friends, as part of larger network even. Whatever the case, I do miss them. Maybe it is a bad idea to have such ... additional aspirations for a commercial activity: That it will also, in time, give me new friendships with both depth and breadth. Maybe, but I have to start somewhere.
We love each other. We want to find solutions. Even if it seems dim - through the fog of anger. But what is important to both of us, I have no doubt, is that we must also find solutions for Jay's sake. We simply can't bear that he should have parted parents, much less that he should have parents who bicker and argue most of the time. It makes him feel unsafe and it hurts him. Obviously. And we want the best for him. So we have to find a way back to the best in ourselves, even if it has been seriously challenged this past year. But we have to. There is not other way.
You can use the shared joy and responsibility to get a feeling of a bond - again and again. And a very strong one indeed. One that was lacking. But other bonds have to be strengthened again. Or it will be like a single rope, or perhaps two ropes, being pulled at all the time. That will not do. So: This summer it is time to rebuild. I want 20 summers more together. Or more. And I know she wants it as well. But we have to make begin now.