Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fearlessness

Come visit me at the 
Maine Crafts Guild 39th Annual Directions Show 
at Mount Desert Island
August 1-3, 2014

Save these dates as well!

August 23rd, 9am-4pm
Quoddy Bay Artist Studio Tour

August 23rd, Opening Reception at 5:00 p.m. 
SACRED: Women in Vision
At the Next Door Gallery
Eastport, Maine

August 24th, 4:00-7:00 pm: Art Auction at Crow Town Gallery
To support the Lubec faction of the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium
With LIVE auctioneer Chris Crittenden!



 Herring Tiles for private home installation.
Almost time for them to be installed!


 
 Nature: Rothko style
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Chanterelle season!
Found on the birthday mushroom excursion this morning!


Hijacked on my birthday by Lisa, Leslie, and Angus to scout out 
some fabulously delicious wild edibles!
See photo above!


 Lubec Farmers Market up and running!
What a treat to have Curt and Karen Shirer share their talents with us last weekend!
Check out their blog!


 Detained
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine
 Green and Stone
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Mowry Beach at Low Tide
In view: Campobello, Grand Manan, and West Quoddy


 Thanks, Mark Buell! 
The music was phenomenal at our KINDRED: Women in Vision opening at Mulholland Gallery!

 Rock reflection at Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


 Ledge, Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


 Twined
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine

 Foggy sunset at Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


Stained glass evening light at Congregational Church, Lubec, Maine


 Women in Vision!
Elizabeth Ostrander, Sharon Mack, Sherry Ashby Cunningham, Shanna Wheelock, and Lisa Marquis-Bradbury
Thanks for the photo Faye Mack Photography!

 Hurricane Arthur swooped through town and did far more damage than we ever expected. Some folks were without electric power for five days. In good ol' Lubec fashion, everyone chipped in to help their neighbor as needed.


 Arterial
Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine


Hanging with my family for a birthday celebration at Reid State Beach.

Artist friend Diane Langley in her Wildwood Gallery on Westport Island, Maine

 Bouli enjoying summer.


 Critters all around us! Two hares regularly snack just outside my studio.


Found this sweetie in the shop!


 
Lovely loon at Indian Lake, Whiting Maine.
The loons always greet us when we kayak on their lake.
Our first kayak of the season!
 My friend and teaching colleague from eons ago, Donna Dachs, FINALLY made her way to Lubec!!! I think she is hooked!!!
In this pic, East Quoddy Head, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada


 Chris and me at Reid State Beach.


Enjoyed a beautiful summer wedding while playing Maid of Honor at my friend Becky's wedding. What a gorgeous day for love, celebrated waterside then on a boat cruise around Casco Bay.


I guess today is what some would refer to as a "milestone". At precisely 11:42 p.m. this evening I will be forty-five years old. I noticed that I hadn't blogged in over two months which is a deviation for me from the norm. Today I woke with the "plan" to do a very specific set of things that I either wanted to do or felt that needed to be done. As with most plans, they went out the proverbial window. I did manage to re-arrange the shop, went to the beach, and am now writing this blog entry. All three of those things were on "the list". I did neglect, however, to clean and work. I am not crying over this, not by any stretch, as the day began in a quite lovely manner with a bit of spontaneity. I was hijacked by two friends, first thing in the morning, and taken on a mushroom scout deep in the woods. In the past, with deadlines and orders looming, I would have denied myself the pleasure of such an excursion, but the "new" me, the "another year older and wiser" me found a "yes" smoothly rolling off the tongue before even having time to run down the mental list of reasons to say "no".

It feels to me that a lot of how I go about life has been changing. One thing that I have been thinking about lately is fear, where it comes from, how we create and propel it, and how to overcome it. I have a couple handfuls of fears that have accumulated over the years. Some reach back to as young as three years old and some were developed not much more than a decade ago. Most of these, when examining and analyzing with my rational mind, actually seem sort of unfounded. Sure, there was something that triggered the fear, but to hold onto that fear for decades has come to seem somewhat irrational. 

To each person their fear, whatever it may be, is psychologically huge. To an outsider that same fear may seem silly. I thought of this two days ago while I watched with interest a spider crawling over my arm hair. That same day I saved (yet another) mouse from Bouli, carrying it to safety. I have watched others squeal in terror when they come anywhere near such critters, but to me, they are harmless. 

That being said, my fear of bees to some would seem disproportionate to the probability of actually being stung. I have thought in my mind, is it such a bad thing to be stung? Sure, it hurts, but in the whole scheme of things, other things hurt much worse. That fear I trace back to being three years old and riding my "Big Wheel" in the barn. I noted a large bumble bee in the window pane and thought to myself that if I left it alone it would not hurt me.  After all, I had been told this before. I continued to ride my bike, minding my own business, when that fat aggressive bumble bee flew on over to give me a good ol' sting. Ironically, my grandfather had nicknamed me "Bumble Bee" long before this incident. 

Three years ago Universe forced me to face my phobia by sending a swarm of thousands of bees to my studio. It was then that I began to tackle my fear. After the incident I found myself wanting to try my hand at beekeeping. My phobia was not instantly cured, but I can say that now, three years later, I have done well. At the beach last weekend a bee landed on my abdomen. In the past I would have panicked, swatted, and ran. Instead, I calmly waited for the bee to fly away. That same day I purposely stood near dozens of bees busily pollinating fireweed.

One fear down, a handful more to go. 

I have tackled two others in the past couple months, both major in my eyes. One fear that I faced no doubt would seem silly to others, but the other was (and is) much more complex and I am still working at it. Next week I face another fear that I have held onto since I was eight years old and soon hope to face another that has been with me since thirteen. A few more in line will need to be tackled in later months. All I can say for certain at this point is that it feels good, REAL GOOD, to be doing this clearinghouse of sorts, to be letting go. These are my stepping stones. For now I feel brave.

The real test will come, though, when I find myself at a crossroads as we so often do in life. Most do get past fear and take a plunge to move forward but it usually comes with much emotional turbulence. These stepping stones are great practice, but the real test is whether or not that turbulence can be quelled in a timely manner. We have come accustomed to being controlled by our fears in attempt to hold onto false security, and fear and false security are plentiful.

I think, I hope, that I am on the path to living more fully, more fearlessly.

So far so good.








2 comments:

Trina Stephenson said...

I have 10 years and 6 days more "wisdom". I am looking forward to my milestone birthday next week also. Those passing years do tend to clarify things. Happy birthday fellow Leo.

SHANNA WHEELOCK said...

Happy Almost Birthday to you, Trina! I am officially cancer...but I ride the cusp. I definitely am a bit crab, a bit lion!!!