“The Vital Obstacles in the Creative Process” by Parker Palmer

Bulls Island, South Carolina

Dear Laura,

I have been appreciating the thoughtful state you have been in since your brother passed. The death of someone we love makes us sit back and wonder what living this life is for. You have always been very helpful to me by listening and helping me talk through this, because I often ask it when life gets difficult.

Last year we did the hard work of writing down our values. Much of this comes from the workshop I attended Artist U, which is now offering this FREE book “Making Your Life as an Artist: A Guide to Building a Balanced, Sustainable Artistic Life. Don’t Starve. Make Art.”. In there you will find the background information for values and goal alignment.

This process took a long time, but now we can begin the hard work of aligning our goals with those values.  One we have in common is letting love and kindness guide our lives.

Our families and friends are what matters most.  Really….that’s all that matters.

Parker Palmer has some wise words to share from the website On Being.  They seemed relevant to where you are today as you heal and say goodbye to your brother. Palmer explains how obstacles or setbacks are essential to moving forward.  He quotes the poet Wendell Berry.

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say, ‘It is yet more difficult than you thought.’ This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

A pond on Bulls Island

He goes on to say ” “Artistry” is not confined to folks who create verbal, visual, or musical forms of beauty. I know people who are artists at parenting, friendship, gardening, manual labor, teaching, leadership, problem-solving, care-giving, peace-making, or just plain living!”

We are artists in everything we do Laura.  Your work the past few weeks are proof of this.

Hugs and peace to you,


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