Photo 1 My intention for December is FINISHING.

I knew that immediately. But at the same time, my intention is getting ready to start anew in January. I knew I wanted to focus on finishing things this December before I stumbled onto Creative Awakenings in the bookstore, but I thought it was only about finishing, just so I could cross things off my list. But as I've been musing over things and reading through Creative Awakenings I've realized that it's also to release myself so I can feel free to turn off of the current path and follow new interests, to explore the forest.

Where do I really want to go moving forward into 2011 and beyond? Are the projects I've planned the ones that are really the desires of my heart? Am I doing an planning things because I feel I should or because I have a true passion drawing me?

I want to follow my heart more and not over think everything. The writing, it doesn't help so much with that. I've done morning pages and free writing and even mind mapping, but it's always based on words and logic. This visual experiment with Creative Awakenings will help me to trust the faeries to show me the way. Like listening to music or just letting my soul float free. Where will the winds of my soul and my heart and my feelings take me? What does FATE have in store for me if I let go?

Before, I was THINKING of my work as making meaning – there it is again, that word "thinking"! – I found I forced myself to attach some mission, some social value and political direction – to my work. Here's what I wrote as a "mission statement" for 2006:

My purpose will be to help make the world safer and more comfortable for women and minorities. How will I accomplish this?

  • By creating things that provide comfort, such as hand-knit items to donate to charity and knitting books that allow others to create comfort, and by continuing to provide free knitting patterns and charity knitting information on this blog.
  • By using my writing to advance reason and enlightenment and to oppose fundamentalism and the beliefs that breed hatred, violence, intolerance, and ignorance.
  • By valuing–and encouraging others to value–the ideas, creativity, and contributions of women.
  • By supporting secular organizations that help women and the glbt community.
  • By speaking out whenever I can in private and in public to point out injustice and to defy the censorship that silences those with no political power.

In each of these areas, I will volunteer, work for pay, and develop personal projects. As the new year begins, I hope you will join with me in evaluating your own purpose in life and choosing a path that brings comfort and joy to the world. 

Sounds great, doesn't it? But when I work on my art, when I write an article or knit a hat or play with beads and paints, I don't FEEL a mission. I feel only the love of what I am writing or knitting or painting. I feel the satisfaction of simply creating, and it frees me.

Why do I feel I must have a mission? Because books say I should? Because so many other artists seem to have political motives or causes infusing their work? If that's not me, and it is SO not me, why should I feel pressure to conform to some imagined ideal? I have always said "I will not let my happiness be in someone else's head," but I don't always succeed at achieving that goal. I do things because I think other people want me to. It's OK on a personal level, to do things for friends and loved ones. But on an artistic level, I must allow myself to follow the dandelion seeds floating on the air. Just see where they land, where they want to grow.

A couple of weeks ago, I made an excursion to Michael's and bought a pile of art supplies so I can start my December imagery! In my mind's eye I see:

I don't want to forget these images, but I want to process it visually, not with words. So next time I stop by here to give you an update, I should have a dream image to share with you. Here's a collection of materials I've assembled getting ready to visually represent my intention for this month.

Photo 3