I was reminded of this scene from the movie “Field Of Dreams” the other day. I don’t remember how it came to me, but I remember that I hadn’t thought of it in a really long time and that it was a movie I’d always loved. It appeals to my artist’s spirit in a big way… to my sense of being called, and being led, through this journey, to a place where my art will connect and draw other people into its wonder.
Like Ray, I am skeptical at first, full of questions, especially the why of everything, and with huge amounts of doubt and trepidation, taking one step at a time as the Voice leads the way. A lot of it is craziness to the outside world. I’ve left full-time employment, sold my house, am living on savings mostly, and started a new career in middle-age, all the while hoping that the income will come in time before all is lost. And each step seems so opposite the logic of this world. But logic is replaced with counter-intuitiveness. I am learning to listen to a deeper place in myself.
What remains is learning to trust that intuition, that inner Voice. Even as Ray took the journey from building the baseball field, to travelling away from it, only to be drawn back to it again, I begin with making art, travel away from it as other things are brought to my attention, and invariably am drawn back to the art with the greater insight I found while on the journey away from it. The gift always brings me back, yet what it offers is richer than it was before.
The thing to remember is that I am to serve the gift. The gift is not here to serve me. That can be incredibly hard to remember when rent is due, and I’m putting off going for groceries. And there are times when the Voice has simply been too vague for my taste and I am tired of this one-step-at-a-time method that requires too much faith and can be so infuriating with all its lack of answers. Seriously, how about a little stability for a change? I miss control too…. Can’t I have just a little?
Would I like it all to happen faster? Of course. This lifestyle that doesn’t let me go and buy a new pair of shoes, or doesn’t let me have dinner out somewhere nice with a friend, is for the birds really. If ever there was a way to learn to “be where you are”, I certainly picked it. Do the days of worry still come? Of course they do. Those are the days when someone will try to tell me that it’s the little things that count. And all I want to do is slap them. Sorry, but sometimes the big things count too! I can get really sick of looking at the bigger, deeper picture. Sometimes I just want that fancy pair of Manolos, and a house to call my own, and the money to travel like I used to.
What the movie reminded me of though, is while I am serving the gift, there is actually something in it for me after all. Like Ray, who in frustration asked, “What’s in it for me?” I ask the same question and discover that I am changing. What’s in it for me so far is pretty intangible, but I realize the changes that are happening are setting the ground for the bigger things, and people, yet to come my way. I am not the same person I was a year ago, and I like what I see. I am stronger for sure, and have an easier time letting go of things that do not serve me well. And I am realizing that putting me first is not a crime.
There’s always that other, sometimes frustrating part of me, that inner Voice, which says there’s more and reminds me I actually got this right. So, like Ray, I am continuing on following the Voice, and building the field. Oh, and being grateful for the smaller intangible things while waiting for the bigger stuff. Somehow I feel the Voice needs reminding that the bigger stuff needs to come really soon, but I think he’s got it….
People will come. I better be ready.