Week 8, Day 3 of The Artist's Way
Today, let's metabolize pain as energy by looking at a loss with a trusting perspective.
GAIN DISGUISED AS LOSS
Art is the act of structuring time.
“Look at it this way,” a piece of art says.“Here’s how I see it.” As my waggish friend the novelist Eve Babitz remarks, “It’s all in the frame.” This is particularly true when what we are dealing with is an artistic loss. Every loss must always be viewed as a potential gain; it’s all in the framing.
Every end is a beginning.
We know that. But we tend to forget it as we move through grief. Struck by a loss, we focus, understandably, on what we leave behind, the lost dream of the work’s successful fruition and its buoyant reception. We need to focus on what lies ahead. This can be tricky. We may not know what lies ahead. And, if the present hurts this badly, we tend to view the future as impending pain.
“Gain disguised as loss” is a potent artist’s tool.
To acquire it, simply, brutally, ask: “How can this loss serve me? Where does it point to my work?” The answers will surprise and liberate you. The trick is to metabolize pain as energy. The key to doing that is to know, to trust, and to act as if a silver lining exists if you are only willing to look at the work differently or to walk through a different door, one that you may have balked at.
(The Artist's Way, 2016, p. 134-135)
I trust that every loss can be reframed as a gain.
I choose to reframe my losses as potential gains. I will trust that every end is a beginning. I know that even in the face of pain, there is a silver lining waiting for me. I will use my pain as fuel to propel me forward. I know that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn.
Pick a color and write a quick few sentences describing yourself in the first person.
“I am silver, high-tech and ethereal, the color of dreams and accomplishment, the color of half-light and in between, I feel serene.” Or “I am red. I am passion, sunset, anger, blood, wine and roses, armies, murder, lust, and apples.” What is your favorite color? What do you have that is that color? What about an entire room? This is your life and your house.
“Art is a technique of communication. The image is the most complete technique of all communication.”
– CLAES OLDENBURG
What is one recent loss that you have gained something from?
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