Prepare for Wonder

Oh my heavens. I am FEELING things right now.

The Hallowed Wide is coming to a close and I’m just waffling in the oddest mix of excitement, relief, grief…

I’ve been saying for a minute now that I think I’m on the cusp of some kind of identity shift, or a new period of chaos as a creator. And it feels like it’s all just coming to a head right now (completed with my first ever bout of TMJ 😩).

As I listened back to the September 2022 Artifice episodes, I found some beautiful wisdom and comfort coming from my guests…

I’m so moved by the way Andrew leans openly into the drama and magic of art.

I’ve recently begun to realize/theorize that part of my own stopped-up-ed-ness as an artist might be due to the way I’ve been taught to reject, suppress, and feel shame about these sorts of wonders. It’s something I’m committed to STOP doing (more on this soon).

…but yeah, it felt almost miraculous to sit next to Andrew as he so comfortably shared these ideas.

We talked about how the flavor of depression we both experience often feels like a bit of a double-edged sword. Everything feels so open and raw. It’s painful, for sure, but beauty somehow gets in more easily, too. Everything just FEELS so much, for better and worse. It’s an experience to sit curiously within.

We talked about “going beyond perfect” as an artist—being willing to show how YOU see something from your unique perspective. So vulnerable, and so valuable.

Andrew also shared some of his early experience with painting. He says “every brushstroke felt like lighting.” I just LOVE this openness. I have felt similarly powerful and magical things, but was shamed so dramatically about these things as a child (and into my adulthood) – it hadn’t really even occurred to me that it’s an option to confidently inhabit these kinds of feelings. But I want to. I think I’m ready to do it.

Cat came to the podcast studio with similar magic to share.

She believes in each individual’s right to present their art how they see fit, and we discussed strategies for handling situations where our art challenges the people we care about.

We talked about how the same action or skillset can mean something completely different for each unique person. The context and the individual meaning can be as valuable and interesting as the thing itself.

And…my favorite…we talked about preparing ourselves for wonder in the world. “Making room for a divergent experience.” #micdrop

I am SO in this ethos, as well. There’s nothing I love more than searching for magic in the daily mundane. And I love the idea of being more open about it. Leaning in, in, in. Just wrapping my whole life in shame-free earnestness.

I was in the middle of my own midnight deep-dive the other night – just reading academic musicology papers about Stephen Sondheim. Haha. I’ve been working with a student on Sondheim’s piece “Finishing the Hat,” and just got super curious about whether Sondheim ever wrote about the condition of being an artist.

And I found this TREASURE I’ll be chewing on for at least the next good while…

“Not fitting into the fabric of society —alienation
I’m integrating myself through the art.
Is my gift to the cosmos good enough?
I’m around people & inside them but not with them. An observer not a participant.
In order to see you have to step back a bit.
What’s wrong with thinking? Thinking is feeling.”

I can’t even begin to explain, but I hope you see a bit of what I see.

And, as per usual, thank you for being here. I hope you’ve been loving The Hallowed Wide. She’s not quite done with us yet, but…it’s coming.

I do hope you love it. And I hope you’ll join me on the next adventure, whatever that might look like.

Don’t forget to look for wonder today! May divergent experiences abound…