“She would not struggle to answer the questions but would let them do their work.
Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions.”
Yesterday I began reading a book recommended by a friend who is artist and writer. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, is the first novel of a detective series. The quote is from the closing lines of Chapter Four.
There are no coincidences in life. Each morning for the past three weeks I ask myself, “What gives me joy?”, and then let the question do its work. I sit down at my studio work table. I open my sketchbook to a blank page, and choose a pencil from the collection in the cup beside me. I let my heart and mind become still. And then I wait.
The reply is never long in coming. Yesterday, joy is the piece of lapis lazuli that sits among other beloved stones on the table before me. Today, joy is the bits of rainbow scattered around the studio walls, a gift of sunlight through the large raindrop-shaped crystal hanging in the window.
Joy is noticing joy, and learning over again how moments of joy are always scattered through my days like this morning’s rainbows, if only I stop and let myself notice.
Let myself see beauty. Let myself feel joy.
There is a choice here of stopping, noticing, and allowing this to be in my life. Noticing joy and beauty are vital to my writing and drawing. I would be neither writer nor artist if I did not choose this every day.
Passion is my guide to creation. Joy and beauty inspire me to see and feel, and then to ask, “What can I create from this? How can I mirror this feeling in word and image?”
The questions are the answer. They push me to seek, to feel my way into creating. As I create, does this feel like joy? Does this feel like beauty to me? The answer is not in words. The answer is in my feelings.
“Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions.”
The truth of what I ask and feel shows up in what I create. The questions are simple.
What gives me joy?
What do I love?
What is beautiful to my eyes?
What is inspiring me today?
The writing or drawing, while I follow the path of my question, may not be simple but it is always my truth.
What gives me joy today? The rainbows on my studio walls. What is inspiring me today? Jacqueline Winspear’s words that sparked this understanding and this post in reply.
Thank you, Jacqueline. And thanks, Kate, for the recommendation.
In this post:
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, Penguin Books, 2004. A detective novel with heart. The quote is from page 32. http://jacquelinewinspear.com/
In the photo, above, is yesterday’s drawing for The Sketchbook Project 2018, Brooklyn Art Library. https://www.sketchbookproject.com/libraries