Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Eight of Cups

I go through phases where I will draw a Tarot card each morning. The way I view Tarot is much like many of my other interests, a tool for introspection and growth. Today I drew a card while thinking about the major life and career changes going on as I prepare to leave behind this Caribbean island that has been my home for more than three years and the veterinary profession that has been my life for over twenty years. When I looked at the Eight of Cups in my hand I had to smile.

(c) Stephanie Law - my favorite Tarot deck
The Eight of Cups is a card of change and transition. The card evokes an immediate reaction of sadness and a sense of solitude. The subject in this card has turned their back on all they have accumulated or accomplished before. 

I haven't blogged about The Art in a very long time but as many who know me on Facebook or IRL are aware, we are repatriating back to Canada and I am officially starting my career transition from veterinarian to full-time artist.

I think it will be more useful to write about the process of transition after I've done some of it - until then I would simply be speculating. As you can imagine, I am filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation as I take this very big step. My decisions and process are well thought out and have been planned over a LONG period of time, but that doesn't mean the actual realization of my goal is any less daunting.

I've also been shying away from promoting my art on social media and struggling internally to have compassion for myself about that. My knee-jerk internal reaction is still, as always, to push the Artist in me harder and get 'real results' sooner. Luckily I have spent the last several years learning to differentiate the helpful internal voices from the unhelpful ones and acknowledge the latter without mindlessly obeying them. My Artist has developed a voice, and I can hear her... she speaks softly, and only when she has something very important to say, and often in feelings more than words - but what she communicates is tremendously valuable.

"If you want this to work - to really work this time and not become a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure, then you need to be patient. You need to rest. You need to fill your creative bank account (thank you Jake Parker). You need to create some space and let the Art return. You need to come back to your centre and rest in a place of peace. Then, and only then, will you achieve what you know can be achieved. If you make this transition from a place of love and faith you will be successful. If you force it to fit a timetable and process imposed by the part of your brain that doesn't understand art it will be more difficult and take longer to get where you are trying to go."

I have devoted more than half of my life to veterinary medicine. I have given it everything I had (and at times more than what I actually had to give). I have had triumphs and failures. I've laughed and cried. I've had times when I've patted myself on the back and times when I've drank myself to sleep. My greatest successes and failures dance readily in my mind.

Now it is time to give my art full, undivided attention and love.

Last Friday was my 'official' last day teaching veterinary medicine. I use the quotes because I still have intermittent teaching to do as a locum (and will happily continue with that until my work here has all been handed over to my very amazing colleagues - a process that is already well underway).

Elkhorn Coral from a reference photo by my amazing friend Michelle Dennis!
I don't think the strangeness of it has really hit me yet. I've tried to 'be an artist' a few times in the past, and I've always come running back to veterinary medicine before too long. This time is different, for reasons I may expand on someday but right now are mostly locked in the nonverbal, deep parts of me. And this time I want to leave them there for awhile. I feel that if I try to capture them in words right now I will change them, force them to fit the limited forms of language, and they are too new and fresh - I just barely have a fingerhold on them. Once I am comfortable that I understand it all better then maybe I will try to speak it. Or maybe I will paint it. Who knows?

And the 'sadness and solitude' of the Eight of Cups... well, I am also not very good at dealing with BIG things, like moving away from the best group of friends and colleagues I think I've ever had. I might not actually deal with ~that~ until after the move is done and reality truly starts to set in.

For now I will distract myself with 'Getting Stuff Done'. I am posting this simply to share some of what is going on here at Cat-in-a-Box, wake up this blog in preparation for more regular posting in the future, and most of all - take a step to shake me out of my insecurity-induced paralysis about my career transition that I've been stuck in recently.  Cat-in-a-Box ain't going to relaunch itself!

Now it's time to do some ART!

~ Pam

2 comments:

KALI PARSONS said...

Your blog was the "next blog" when I was looking at my own blog. I click on that every once in a while. I'm so grateful I did. I read your two most recent posts. So here I am, a fellow artist, wishing you well on your journey. What an exciting time in life, so full of change. And the blog about your Ginger. I have my own elderly ginger tabby who loves us as madly as we love him. I'll go back to your blog and see if you have a subscribe option. You're inspiring.
Take care,
Kali

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