After a handful of days too warm for winter, we've been treated to freezing temperatures and mounds of snow. From my window, I’m watching a veil of smoke curl up from a neighbor’s chimney. In a slow drift, it crosses their snow-piled roof, then rises and thins and disappears into the frosty air. Time seems to have slowed. Nature is not in a hurry today.
On my back porch, potted plants are heaped with snow, their leaves and blooms wilted from this deep freeze. Except for one pink petunia who has done the unexpected. In her pot just outside my back door, she remains fresh-faced and bright in the frigid outdoors. I know she’ll wilt at some point, but for now, she has amazed me. With the wisdom of Nature, she tells me, “Make room for the unexpected. In your life, in your art, try something new. Surprise yourself.”
I immediately think about Art & Soul, where I’m encouraged to explore and discover and make room for the unexpected. There, the practice of non-judgement invites me to try something new, to be intuitive and authentic with my art. I’m always surprising myself with what emerges.
The writer William Zinsser said, "Give yourself permission to risk the unknown. Dare to not do what the world expects you to do."
"'You've got to be able to make those daring leaps or you're nowhere,' said Muskrat." - The Mouse and His Child, Russell Hoban
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anais Nin
And if you're feeling stuck?
"Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it." - The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli
Maybe if we follow the wall far enough, we’ll find a pink petunia, fresh-faced and bright.
Karyn Henley for Art & Soul Nashville