Leaning on Art

I decided to take in a movie today, The Big Short, as part of an outing filled with an endless list of errands to run. This is not my typical routine, to add a movie into the mix of errands, but it is a design I want to experiment with as part of a future I see myself living - shopping, movies, dinner out and so on. If I make attempts at living my dreams (on scale that is manageable or doable) then I am participating in the design of my future.

These days I use public transit when I need to shop at stores too far for walking. The subway and bus are not the best way to grocery shop, what with all the lifting, hauling and walking but hey, they say it’s ‘The better way’, and I’m all for things improving.

As I braced mind and body for the freezing cold temperatures I felt warmed by the alpaca scarf my son had given me, this past Christmas. I was grateful now for his gift, as the wind swirled around me but did not swirl inside my coat. The scarf hugged me tight. I felt so very loved, by its warmth.

I raced down the street because I wanted to get to the subway faster, to get out of the cold, but I was also running late for the movie. When I’m out I like things to go smoothly and enjoy every minute and feel I was meant to have this time to relax. I wanted to arrive at the theatre on time, not missing a minute of the movie, and not missing a moment of this choice to splurge on leisure and entertainment.

I entered the subway rushing right, racing for the two seats near the back at the end of the car. This spot, on every subway, is my most favourite spot. It’s private and isolated almost. I didn’t need to rush, and I’m not sure why I did, perhaps the thought of being late ruled my mind. I felt silly by my behaviour as this is not my usual way; to rush. When it was time for my stop I rose early, as I always do, and made my way to the entrance door just standing there, waiting. With time on my side I noticed my reflection in the car door window and quickly glanced away. Leaning to my right, up against the partition, in the entrance way, I began to relax and slow down. With my right hip extended out my left leg bent at the knee I revelled in the feeling of letting go. The motion of the train invited me into a time and a space where letting go of thought comes easy. At first I worried about my synthetic lavender jacket getting dirty from the window as my shoulder and upper arm enjoyed being propped but then figured my coat is going to get dirty riding the subway whether I worry about it or not. So I let that thought slide as my body shrunk in reaction to my leaning. It felt good to lean on something. When I stopped the fleeting thoughts swishing through my mind, allowing them to float out of me to travel away with the speed of the train, I relaxed further still. In this vacuum of space inside my mind I noticed feelings and emotions rising. I noticed calm and relaxation filling me where there once was rushing and a void of consciousness. So much of what needs doing is done on auto-pilot. I hate being that way and not feeling anything. I was glad for that window so that I could lean on it for a minute and let go of my thoughts just to feel.

Creativity invites me in and allows me to lean on it in good times and in the not so good times. My journey toward creativity happened to me when loss happened to me. I have noticed through the years that I am not alone in this journey and many people create in the same way as one they have lost did before them. There are so many stories of loss that are combined with or brought to life by leaning on creativity.

I lean on art for relaxation, positive self-care, for remembering, and for bringing forth difficult and joyous emotion I would not otherwise feel. I lean on art for many things but mostly to support my emotions and to move me forward in life at whatever speed necessary.