“The road must be run safe first, and fast afterward.”
— Rulebook of the New York & Erie Railroad, 1854.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Monday 20 June 2016
SAFETY … RISK … SAFETY … RISK … SAFETY … RISK
I feel the constant tension between the two. In art and in life, there is a juxtaposition. I don’t recall the path to how I became cautious and slow-moving, but I know that I am. And yet deep down inside, I know that’s not all that I am. I have always had snappy eyes and ready words and I remember skinned knees and wild outfits along with hiding under blankets with books and flashlight. SAFETY AND RISK. I need both and. I am both and.
As contemplative as I am, I have to move my body and my ideas often. As free-spirited as I am, I thrive in structure. I tell myself NO daily to something I really want in order to keep my boundary muscles strong. And I choose something uncomfortable every day just to stay in good standing with risk.
I easily indulge the desire to retreat and I create safe places to sip tea and think. I love to hunker down and read books and write words and paint in order to suss out path. I will also risk in huge ways with myself and others when it comes to words that must be said and questions that must be asked.
Safety and Risk.
There is a pendulum swing between safety and risk.
We must explore both our frontiers and our cave dwellings.
In art and in life, we must understand when we need to increase safety and when we need to increase risk. We undermine forward motion if we hunker down when the clear cry is for risk; and we harm both our body and psyche, if we constantly hit override in order to serve a product over our inner knowing for self care, security and rest.
It is a precious ebb and flow. We must move between the two. It is a profound listening that we must engage in. We must recognize the sensations of our skin crawling, our heart beating more quickly, or a deep breath. We must open the eyes and ears of our heart.
This is why I faithfully keep a journal. Not just to make pretty pages, although sometimes they are. Not to document my daily life, although that happens, too. But, so that I can be honest with my self about whether I am to take a risk or create safety.
I keep a journal, because as I paint and glue and collect and sift, I hear whether in this moment, I am warrior or care giver.
The pages help me clarify whether or not today is a day for No or Yes.
And glory, glory, glory! Gone are the days when I let someone else make that call for me.
May you, with wisdom, know when to hold safety close to your chest and when to kiss risk full on the lips.
BE in your life,