Show Your Work

ShowYourWork

Kleon’s book Show Your Work! inspired me to get back on the blogging bandwagon.

Five years and three months. Exactly 1,918 days. That’s the amount of life I’ve lived since my last blog post.

I’ve hardly been sitting on my hands. During that time, my husband and I took a 6,000-mile journey across the Pacific to adopt our daughter, now 4-1/2 years old. I watched my father die and our family come together through grief. I overcame two serious illnesses and put to rest some lifelong hang-ups and hurts. No, I wasn’t sitting on my hands, but they certainly were busy taking care of other matters.

One could also say that I officially reached “middle age” during that time span. Yes, there are moments when I associate “crisis” with this particular season of life. Just ask my back and my knees and my memory, wherever it may be. But, most recently, there’s a theme that seems to be overwhelming the supposedly typical sense of dread or doom or approaching death at this age. I call it my “mid-life climax.”

It’s hard to explain, but there’s something in my soul that is cracking open—in a good way—exposing and craving color and texture. Though I’ve been identified as a writer for more than two decades, it seems an expansion is underway. It’s on my bucket list, and perhaps because of recent revelations, it’s also part of my creative fiber. I am determined to claim my next title: artist.

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon inspired my returning to the blog world to share my learnings and accomplishments on this journey. The author is rather convincing about the benefits it will offer to both my work and my readers. On top of that, I’ve come across numerous resources prodding me to persevere despite my own insecurities and others’ mockery. My favorite piece of encouragement so far comes from Brennan Manning’s The Furious Longing of God: “The danger of elegant accomplishment besets every artist. What to do? All I have learned through trial and error is to stay alert and aware, especially of God smiling at our silliness.”

My interpretation of this insight? I might as well embrace this silly quest. If God thinks even the efforts of Michelangelo and DaVinci were laughable—Matisse and Picasso, for sure—why not join the fun?

So here goes…

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