I designed postcards to promote The Well Within Workshop and included a favorite Saul Bellow quote: Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. It captures what I see as one of art-makings’s superpowers–offering the maker another place to be, another space to inhabit beyond the reaches of life’s confusion and turmoil. I emphasize this benefit in my work with clients and so wanted to incorporate it somehow on my postcards.
Viewing my now-printed cards back at home, I see that achievement as it appears has only two “e’s” whereas Bellow’s version has three. I don’t see this as a significant problem because I only ordered fifteen thousand copies…how did this happen?
However it happened, it’s what didn’t happen that caught my attention. Back in the day, this kind of thing would’ve sent me spinning–wretched self-criticism, harshness with the printer, fuel-injected agitation of my own making and all quite beyond my control.
Where did all that go?
I thank meditation for digesting so much of it. I don’t sit everyday but I’ve maintained an imperfect practice for over 15 years. And I thank middle-age, with all its invitations and opportunities to come to accept what is and be alright with it if for no other reason that the alternative is to be with what is and not be alright with it and that’s of course a little slice of hell on earth.
I’m at a point in life where I don’t want energy going in those directions anymore. It leaves me with nothing to show for it and seems to steal something vital from my art-making reserves.
Stillness in the midst of chaos.
I don’t kid myself. I could lose an “e” tomorrow and find myself percolating all over again. But I’m grateful today to have another option. I consider that an achievement.
p.s. If you’re at all interested in exploring the benefits of meditation in a non woo-woo way, check out Dan Harris’ book, 10 Percent Happier.