Creative Incubation: Privacy is necessary in artistic expression

I've been hiding.

This summer felt so public, so busy.  I felt like I was always exposed.  It's part of my job and I understand that, I really do.  I love people and traveling and exploring new places and creating new ideas, so being more a public figure works for me.  

But, I also love being alone.

As much as I gain energy and ideas from being with people, my spirit finally finds peace when I am alone.

And so after a summer of being over exposed and over indulged with lots and lots of groups of people, I have gone into hiding.

The air has turned cooler here and it is the perfect excuse to curl up on my couch and read a book.  To spend hours browsing recipes and cookbooks for what will be our winter meals.  To explore websites and quilt patterns finding inspiration for Christmas gifts for my children.

For awhile I stopped returning phone call and emails and I stayed safely tucked away being a reclusive.  I was tired of sharing my life.  I was tired of talking.  I was tired of trying.  I was tired of traveling and speaking.  I was tired of cooking and cleaning and laundry and shopping.  I was tired from being so public and I craved simplicity where no one knew what was going on in my head and heart.  A space where I could live within the confines of the four walls of my home and not the open ended doors of the internet. 

When my ministry is inherently sharing who I am with people, I am finding a need to navigate my personal and public selves.  That isn't to say that I don't want to be vulnerable and honest, but when the normal pattern of our behavior has turned into overexposure, I have had to ask myself, 

Where is my line?  How much exposure is too much?

I wasn't sure, but knew I had crossed my imaginary line, and so I went away.

I went away from the public eye to hide in my house, and sometimes just go through the motions.  I went away to gain rest.

I hid my heart to start to understand it again in the privacy of my own thoughts and journals.

I explored my feelings in the privacy of my own home and in the safety of my husbands trust to come to terms with where my current life experience is at.

I ignored my laundry list of a "To Do" list to read and read and read.  I got lost in others finished stories because mine felt to complicated to sort out.

I went through the motions of my life because I was too drained to find joy in them.

I feel like I have been sleep walking for weeks on end.

And then it felt as if I took a deep breath for the first time in months as I stood in the woods in the middle of Wisconsin for a retreat this past weekend.

The dense fog is starting to lift out of my core.  I can tell because for the first time, instead of picking up a book to read, I picked up my journal to write and my spirit came alive again.  More than any other time, words couldn't stop pouring out of me and I was thankful for breathing again.

The time for hiding away was necessary to bring me to this place of pouring out.  I needed time to refresh, to heal, to process, and find my voice again.

I am coming to understand the give and take, the push and pull and the sacrifice of finding my creative rhythm.  It is different for each individual as they explore their unique artistic expression of what lies within them.

I am finding there is value and something beautiful in the incubation stage.  The private space where you can let down and have the safety and freedom of exploration.

Until the time for sharing is upon me, thank you for walking in the space between with me.