Do you sometimes feel like a ladybug wandering back and forth on the edge of a windowsill?
Stuck between a pane of glass and empty air? Avoiding the cold and clinging to the light? You’re asking yourself, Will I survive the winter? How long can I wander back and forth over this ledge, tracing the same patterns and stains in the wood?
Is this what your creativity – writing, painting, sewing – feels like? Difficult? Stubborn? Futile? Sometimes writing is hard, hard work even when tell ourselves we love it and can’t imagine doing anything else with our lives. Sometimes the words don’t come. Sometimes we are wandering back and forth through our draft. No end in sight. There will always be days like this. Cloudy days. Cold days. Uninspired days. Part of being an artist, I’ve realized, is to be okay with crappy writing days – they trump no-writing days, hands-down.
Can I look at the ladybug a different way?
Is the beetle really frustrated with her situation? Could she be content? Does she pause in her sojourn, look at the sunset and express gratitude for being here to see it? She won’t be here long. And she can fly if she wants to; she has sturdy little wings under that helmet of an exoskeleton. For now, it just might be her time to rest.
We all need rest and a little sunshine, even if there’s less and less of it each day. Just a little bit will help us across the sill again and all through the winter to come. So, go slow – day by day. Be kind to yourself. Drink something warm. Light a candle. Day-dream until the sun comes back.