"This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be, This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen."
Joseph Campbell, in 1985 interview with Bill Moyers
I found this quote one morning as I was preparing an assignment for school. It was
tucked away in the "Inspirational Tidbit' file that I keep for my Myth & Symbol
class. An enormous YES poured forth from me upon reading it. As I stand on the
threshold of my new space, I walk through the physical threshold into the studio,
and know also the symbolic threshold that this moment is for me. The enormity
of the grant process, and all that entailed, and before that years of mystery and
challenge as I worked to clarify my intent, and then the dreaming of this dream -
it has all pointed to this moment. So now, as I walk through the door, I find
I almost collapse from exhaustion.
But, alas, the urge to have my sacred, creative space and all the things that
Campbell speaks of cause me to move through the tiredness and make my space.
Friends have shown up to help paint walls, to build shelves, carry boxes from the
old studio to the new, and even to rent the studio for an evening to do spiritual
work. Having income from the studio is one of the most important things for me
now. One might think that being a university professor means I have a reasonable
income, but the truth is that I am a 17 year adjunct professor. I have no benefits
and make about a quarter of the income of the full-time faculty though I teach only
one class less a year. Partly its my choice, because few full-time positions open up
locally. I would need to move far away, and this isn;t something I'm willing to do.
So at the moment I feel a tension between the need to sink into a creative flow,
and the urgency to gather myself and begin the outreach to bring in students. I will
need to find a way to do both. Early in the morning while sitting with the fire, deep
soul stories flowed from me into my journal and I saw things more clearly. I was
dropped into my soul-well by the beautiful work of Barbara Beeckmans and her post,
"Reclaiming". At the end of my journey, which of course we all know is also the
beginning, I understand that I am working with moth medicine.
I understand that the studio is a cocoon, and my desire to wrap myself up in silken
threads and dissolve into imaginal soup is indeed much like Campbell's "...place
of creative incubation". (go here for a bit about imaginal cells and metamorphosis)
I have a much greater understanding of why I need a place separate from my house
for creative work, and how very necessary the creative process is for me. Rooting
deeply into the space will take time. I am not quite ready to "make' in there yet,
but the process has begun as I arrange pods on shelves and decide which mugs
will live in the studio.
I need to get cushion foam cut for the window seat that my dear friend, David,
made for me, and I wonder if I should attempt to sew a few covers for the old,
worn out pillows. I must admit to all you amazing cloth and fiber followers
that I DON"T really sew (at least on a machine) - so this might take me a while!
The stones and snake have found their places in the new space, pods and skeletal
leaves and husks create shadow-laces with the light.
Books that were tucked away in the old space are visible here.
A set of cabinets that came from my parents' kitchen many years
ago found a new look with branches for handles.
Pasha is still not sure he wants to come inside, but today
he had a short visit, but only for a minute,
and only through the back door.
And soon, very soon, I might know what work needs to hang on the walls.
For now, the emptiness holds the space of possibility, and I am
dreaming some new work as I disintegrate inside my cocoon.