It is an awful nasty grey day today.
The overly dramatic side of me feels like throwing myself on the floor and wailing at the cold and rain and gloom.
During some seasons of my life searching for beauty is good and almost easy.
But other seasons feel like this long winter I have had. Finding beauty seems impossible, and even when I find it, it comes with sides of cynicism and jealousy.
All very depressing, I know.
I had a conversation with a fellow artist recently who shared that often her biggest struggle in the creative process is dealing with her emotions.
I appreciated her honesty. Because I find this in my own life. That my emotions can be my strength and weakness. That my ability to empathize is wonderful for creating characters. But my ability to pick up many of the emotions swirling around me can be exhausting and overwhelming, not to mention dealing with my own set of emotions.
On Saturday I was rehearsing Shakespeare lines on stage. And there was something comforting about the stage and space. To have the bigness of the stage to throw the bigness of the emotions found in the lines. To have a place to pour all the emotions that well up inside me and do something with them. And to have beautiful language to work with that fits my own intensity and emotions.
I love stories in that they require all of me. My mind to wade through the plot and structure, my heart to connect to the characters, and my body to take in the words and visuals. All of me can be present.
Stories touch me in the moments when life is hard and uncertain. Stories become places of healing, tender and quiet journeys that gently help me see good in the world.
Stories remind me that others have experienced long winters. That others struggle with the ups and downs of an active emotional life.
I know that spring is coming. I see little signs. I know that life is filled with dark seasons. I know that sometimes the search for beauty requires others walking alongside to remind us how to find and see beauty when we have forgetten for ourselves.
I know that stories help remind me to take in beauty.
I know that the struggle to create stories myself helps me understand beauty more fully.
I know that in the midst of the gloom I'm grateful for people who help me see beauty when I forget to stop and see and take in the moment.
I know that telling stories and laughing around good food pushes away the dark. I know that good films push against the dark. I know that acting in good stories helps dispel the gloom.
I know that we need each other. We need each other to bring beauty and spring to each others sorrows and pain. We need good stories lived and shared. We need stories full of love and honesty and beauty and sorrow. At least I know I need these stories when days are rainy and spring feels far away.
So please keep living and telling stories full of beauty and wonder and emotions. In my little space in the world I am deeply grateful for your work! Like my numerous stuffed animals that kept me company as a kid, your stories help me face the dark.