Waiting for answers…in the garden
November 15th, 2007
In recent weeks I’ve been at loose ends, trying to find my voice and my “inner muse,” as I recover from a marathon book production schedule that has pretty much occupied the past 12 months of my life.
Lately, the big question just simmering beneath the surface of my consciousness has been: “What next?”
I just don’t know.
Having poured so much intense focus and passion into Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways, I now feel a bit of sadness because the process has ended. It was such an intimate, joyous experience of just two people sharing their individual gifts to create a book. It was glorious, exhilarating and painful (good pain) process. Bill Wright, my partner and photographer, has been the best collaborator I could have asked for. He has been exceedingly gracious, patient and a good traveling companion to boot.
This week we proofed the second “dummy” – the entire book in color photocopied form, text, images, layout in place. All 224 pages of it! To hold the book in my hands on April 29th will be a dream come true. (photo: Bill and Debra, on location in SF Bay Area, 6 a.m., March 2007)
But still… “What next?” The pressing question of the moment.
All I know right now is that I have to get my hands in the soil, literally. I planted today. Planted not just with a shovel but (unfortunately) with a pickax. I thought I would leave clay soil behind when I moved from
“Peeling away” a ton of rocks and huge sections of plastic as I begin to work organic matter into the dirt is part of the rebirth of this piece of land. That “rebirth” metaphor applies to my creative journey, as well. My dearest friend Britt, an Episcopal priest, put words to the emotions I’m feeling. I was fortunate enough to see her yesterday when she was in LA for a meeting. (photo: Deb and Britt, August 2007, Newport OR, celebrating Britt’s wedding weekend)
“You are in the process of unearthing the soil of your own life,” she said. “You need to get to the root, the essence, of yourself.” This makes some sense to me. I am trying to dig deeper and discover (define?) what drives me creatively. And it is both confusing and compelling to examine everything from small, exciting details (an unfamiliar bloom, a backlit blade of grass, a perfectly-shaped succulent) and big macro ideas that stretch my thinking (notions of friendship, truth, fidelity, and integrity).
So for now, all I know is that in order to understand beauty, I must strive to create it in my own life. If that means stretching my muscles to wield a pickax, so be it.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Rainer Maria Rilke