Change

There is something about our current state of affairs that feels like a suspension, hiatus, time-out, or an extended stay-cation. It’s as if the world has been put on hold and we are hovering in place, holding our breath, until we have made it over the bridge, or until we are told we can come up for air.

I’ve also thought of these days as being on a phone call in which I’ve been placed on hold, or a VCR tape which has been paused. I imagine that the tape is being stretched as it waits in suspension until it can roll again. None of these images of our present situation adequately describe what’s happening .

It may be nearer the mark to use Tolkien’s definition of adventure versus quest. We are decidedly not on an adventure, where we will return to things as they were when we left them. When this is all over, we will be changed. The earth is already changing, and we humans will live and think of our lives differently than before. We have certainly not gone anywhere as an adventure would call us to do. Rather we are on a quest, one in which we are pinned in place, endeavoring to do our part in a worldwide effort to stay home and stay well. The effort to do this is far greater and more costly than the freedom to go on grand adventures. Yet it remains true that we will not land on the other side of this the same. We are being changed. I feel it in my bones.

Shifts in life often yield changes in art making. I have found some difficulty in sticking to drawing a tree every day. The drawings I make are decidedly simple and shape oriented, as if I’m designing for a weaving or a stitched fabric piece. Despite being in love with oil pastels , I’m wanting to let go of the must-draw-a-tree-every-day and just draw as I like, or weave or stitch.

It is likely that in letting go of having to draw a tree daily, that I will continue drawing trees. This was true before I began the quest on January 23rd. Trees are ever a fascination and will always be. My hope is to maintain this focused attention to their physical details, personality and their likenesses to me…or the other way around.

We do not know yet what changes will remain with us once we have been allowed to leave home, roam freely again, breathe and press play. That too will likely bring a shift in creative focus and I’ll want to follow whatever is next. For me, merely the change in seasons always brings changes in mediums and color choices. It will be interesting to see how we are all led to create once the current crisis is in our rear-view mirror.

Are you sensing a shift or change in your creative work? Do the seasons affect you in this way? Is the current quest we are all on changing what you create or how you approach your work as an artist/maker? I would love to know!💖 Most of all, I hope you each are well and safe and able to receive whatever this time is bringing your hands to create, no matter how simple or seemingly inane it may feel. Just keep creating, keep making things, writing poems and stories, shaping clay, painting and drawing pictures, trees or not. It will steady us and see us through to the other side.🙏💖

8 thoughts on “Change

  1. Juli says:

    Your posts are ALWAYS inspiring…I always breathe better after absorbing your beautiful words and artwork. Keep them coming. Love you Jennifer!

  2. Nancy J Nicholson says:

    Jennifer,

    I love your thoughts, and yes, we are all in a state of waiting, and I feel the change as well. But I’ve felt this before, not on this grand of scale of course. When we went adopted children, everything changed. When we started homeschooling, everything changed again. Then, we made the biggest change of our lives, we sold everything and went sailing. It was scary, and then, exciting. We are forever changed.

    So this too, will change us. And I suspect, when we come through, as we keep purpose in our lives, whether art, or busy-ness, during the isolation, we will be stronger, and better, and hope we have a better appreciation for the people around us and never take for granted that which we’ve been given.

    Thanks for sharing your trees.

    Nancy

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      And I love your thoughts here also Nancy! Yesss…perhaps because we have felt this wind of change before, we recognize it happening now. My hope is that the change will not have to do with loss, but in gaining a sense of slower pace and community. Have a beautiful Easter weekend!

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      It IS hard…many artists I’m following are saying just that. The intensity, anxiety, uncertainty of this time is making it hard for creative folks to focus as well. You are creating something huge for our church family…may God bless you in all your endeavors.

  3. Sarah Francis says:

    Thank you for this it speaks to me. Last paragraph especially. A couple weeks of days ago I felt inspired to weave a rainbow, after seeing children’s drawings up in a neighbor ing village whilst cycling. It’s now on our gate ….

    Today I was emotional about unwell friends and took solace from spinning this afternoon, spinning rainbows of colour outside in the sun and loosing myself in the action. Just what I needed. .

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Hi Sarah Francis! Oh I am glad to have an opportunity to hear from you in this format! I apologize for having assumed your name was Margaret on IG due to “magsatlarge”. I love your rainbow weaving and that it was inspired by children’s drawings you saw in your neighborhood! That kind of creating from our everyday lives is so inspiring to me and what it is all about, don’t you think? You and I will keep on weaving and spinning, and we will make it though all of this in due time. Blessings to you!! -Jennifer

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