Every once in a while it happens to someone who creates, to someone who parents, to anyone whose purpose feels strong and stalwart...the mental fumble, the tide going out: the lapse in confidence that feels like trying to breathe underwater.
It's happened to me musically enough times that I totally don't fear it: I just go forward understanding that maybe it is best to take a solid break of two days: walk the beach, read that book, concentrate on the baking of a good pie.
Leather-wise it's happened once before on a custom order, and the end result was fantastic and I grew. Today I stumbled on the harder thoughts again. The catalyst was something so silly and non-threatening, really. Subsequently, I wondered if all was well, if it is really possible to make a living doing leather. I am always wanting to make everyone happy while knowing that statistically it's really hard to do.
I have always tried to prepare myself for the things that are harder, for the things that make you wince. Four years in NYC and going on five in L.A. and I still get way-laid by the very things I need to learn how to brush off. See, the flip side of what we all want to do is that it can break your heart: when I had a corporate job it was easy to complain, simple enough to do OK, to remain distant from my tasks. I found my prayers were always, "Someday I want to work from my heart and make the things that I see in my dreams and live my creative potential fully." Now I see that when you get there and you are doing those very things that you cannot BELIEVE you are lucky enough to do there's a doubt that steals in sometimes, unbidden. And the fact IS that the more of your love and devotion you put into your art or your music or your child, the more you have invested ( by simply caring passionately ) and the sharper the sting when someone's unhappy. Or when the feedback's not so hot. Or when you can't get the little one to stop crying.
It's a leaden softness, a general blanketed feeling, a need for cocoa and a good cry...I like to think at those moments grace comes and 'leads me home' as the hymn so astutely puts it. For whatever reason a well needs refilling and I need to sit quietly and see what comes...to pray for rain and strength.