Hello there. It’s been a while. I’ve been away doing other stuff but mostly I’ve been switching off and trying to let everything go. I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of emptying my mind of noise and distraction, clearing away all the input and clutter and allowing myself to become a blank canvas, an empty vessel. Clear and empty of everything so that I can just wait to see what comes up, what rises to the surface. I’m hoping for bubbles of pure brilliance and genius……
In the meantime there’s been a lot of contemplation, a lot more cold swims and cycling. I’ve read more books and I’ve painted and doodled my way through quite a few sketchbooks. I think I must have been suffering some kind of overwhelm this year and I felt pulled to clear my mind and energy for what was to come. I had no idea a few months ago what that was to be but that was ok. Sometimes it’s good to switch off, turn off the TV, the news, the computer and the phone and just disappear.
The reason I started thinking about blank canvases was that I had a used painting canvas that I wanted to clean up and re-use for something else (sometimes you hit a wall with a painting and that is the end of that!) I looked online for how to clean up a canvas and I read that I could soak it in vegetable oil before scraping off the paint, scrubbing it, allowing it to dry, and then using a primer to get it back to a good, usable condition.
A bit long-winded and tedious but I thought that a little effort might save me some cash and a journey to the shops. So I set about cleaning my canvas and as I went through this painstaking process it started me thinking about our lives and how much like paintings they are. Each experience another layer of paint on the canvas. Layer upon layer upon layer. Sometimes this can turn into a beautiful work of art and other times it just becomes one big, muddy mess. Through the process of cleaning my canvas I started to realise that this is exactly the same process I seem to have been applying to my own life in recent years. A process of unravelling. Scraping away at the layers, one by one, to see what’s underneath. Becoming a blank canvas so I can start anew. Letting go of what’s no longer needed in order to move forward.
This year it seemed important to let everything go and not make any plans. We wanted to see if allowing space for something to arise was a good enough plan in itself. It turned out it was. What arose was a housesit in Copenhagen for the entire summer. A rare opportunity to spend the summer in one of Europe’s most dynamic cities, living in a nice residential area close to the centre. Gold dust in other words. We have been talking about moving to a city for a while but wanted a non-committal way to do it. What better that a three-month housesit?
It was hard this year to let go of worrying and planning and second-guessing but I’m glad we did. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here now. I think Rumi sums it up well.
“Who would write on a page already filled with writings?
Who would plant a sapling where one is already planted?
One would look for an empty page and virgin soil.
Become bare like the earth so the Beloved may plant His seed, become a blank page so His pen may write upon you.”
What do you think? Is becoming a blank canvas a good idea or should life be more planned? ♥