I want to be that person who wanders around with a smile on her face and a light in her eye. I want to be that person who breathes in the scent of the trees and lingers in the warm light of love. And I am until I am not.
(Polaroid Spectra double exposure / Softtone Polaroid Film)
Last week I woke up in the night air and realized that I couldn’t breathe and I felt that familiar tug deep in my lungs. I have asthma brought on by damage done to my lungs when I contracted pneumonia when I was just a tiny baby. Mostly, my asthma is under control until it is not. Luckily, I have not had any serious lung illnesses for a good decade but I remember losing chunks of my childhood to the painful cough of bronchitis, the fever of infection as I lost myself in the twirl of a flounced skirt and the tapped shoes of Fred Astaire as Gidget swam out to meet the bright blue of a surfing sky. I lost myself in old movies and sketched and wrote out words that I couldn’t live as I lay propped up in pain trying to forget the life outside my window.
I had a simple cold a few weeks ago that found its way deep into my lungs and suddenly I was transported backwards to my childhood. The sun shone bright as orange and yellow leaves showered down slivers of gold. I watched it all through the fevered haze of my vision. For a week, I lived in the dream world that sits right there in my chest, the reality and the life that happens in between as slow and laboured breath watched the world outside my window. The hum of the lawn mower, the chirp of a bird and laughter of a child as dogs danced circles through the still green grass beneath a layer of crisp leafed laughter.
I didn’t turn on my computer for days upon days and when I finally did, I found myself overwhelmed by the speed — it felt like there was too much happening at a rate that left me breathless. I felt as though I had lost a month not merely a week. The internet can be a fevered dream world with so people and so much activity coming at you as fast as it takes to click a key on your keyboard. There were art projects that made me gasp and writing that had me picking my jaw up off the floor and don’t even get me started on the feast of photography that happened in a short week’s time. The time I spent sick and away from the internet has made me realize how much time I normally spend immersed in the work of others. I have a list of art and photography projects that I am excited to see evolve into being. I have writing and poetry ideas that I want to spend time crafting and creating but instead I find myself in that space where I think what is the point, someone far more capable than myself has already done it all. Having all that information readily available can be a source of great inspiration but it can also be incredibly intimidating.
The reality is that it hasn’t all been done, not by me and maybe not by you either. The reality is that I love the process of doing, creating, the way my mind becomes focused and still and my breath becomes a deep rhythm that sways with the trees and finds no difference between the light inside of me and the light of the sun. Even if I never share the creative work that I do, even if it only lives inside of my studio … that light grows and spreads throughout every part of my being which means that I can wander around with a smile on my face and a light in my eye. The process of creating allows me to be that person who breathes in the scent of the trees and lingers in the warm light of love.
“Finding My Light” © Darlene J Kreutzer
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