Messy Is Good


It’s been a messy year-plus, and it’s still messy. The whole world feels messy. I could do with some order right about now.

I’m guessing we all could.

I don’t mean total order. A balance of mess and order is what I’m looking for. I say this because as artist and writer I require messy. Revel in it sometimes. It’s a necessary part of my creative process; all my drawing and writing begins in mess.

My childhood and personality gave me a love of order along with a desire for messy. I grew up in a home that contained both. Mom preferred order, but running a household that included three children was much cause for mess and occasional outright chaos.

Mom wisely allowed mess to have its place, until guests were expected. Then we all—Dad included—received our marching orders. Each of us went around the house, picking up what was ours and putting it away where it belonged.

Mess was apparently our private family thing, not to be revealed to others, or maybe not to be inflicted on others.

I’ve watched the mess and chaos of the covid months.

Too much mess, I heard myself say repeatedly.

Don’t like it. Still don’t like it.

But.

I kept reminding myself what an elder mentor artist told me.

Chaos opens a space.

I listened to this advice, for advice it was, and learned to allow myself to sit quietly, listen and observe, while mess and chaos whirled around.

I learned I could be a still point, the quiet eye in the hurricane.

I learned chaos and mess threw things together in ways I’d never thought of, and offered new connections, understandings, possibilities for drawing and writing and life.

This past year-plus I’ve had to talk myself into being the still point a lot. Talk myself into walking through the mess, allowing mess to be what it was. Talk myself into becoming quiet, listen and observe what possibilities were whirling around me. Catch them, use them, learn from them.

What I learned was a relearning and focusing.

Love.

Choose love. Repeatedly if necessary, and necessary it was and is.

Be love.

See love.

Accept love when it is offered me, for acceptance is a gift (a relief, a soothing, a sharing, a wholeness) both to myself and the other. I see you, I see me, I see the love you offer. Thank you. Thank you.

Love is the oldest of the old things, the base on which I stand, the one substance of which the whole of me, and the whole of life, is made. Even when I forget what I am, love remains.

I see you in the midst of the mess and chaos.

I see the love of which you are made and the love you hold.

I wish for you to see yourself as I see you—all love.

You shine bright in the midst of the mess of life, and I am glad of your light.

2 thoughts on “Messy Is Good

    1. Thank you Kate! My writing table is very messy at the moment. I had to remove and reorganize a few layers that weren’t writing stuff (being too lazy on the weekend to put things away and using any handy surface to leave things). Hugs and love!

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