The Shop is open. For the summer -- which in my part of the world is expected to be until June.
It's a temporary opening because I need to study it first, get an idea of what works, smooth out the creases in the details and the process. Then, when all is well, go for a full opening towards the end of the year. I am alone in this, scraping the coins to cover the expenses of setting up and the costs of making the art. That is why everything tends to move slowly, it follows the pace of my cash flow. Being a freelancer and a breadwinner while stubbornly pursuing a creative life does have its unique set of challenges.
But here's the thing. When I finally clicked "Publish" on those shop pages, and when I finally clicked "Post" to announce the shop, I felt a sense of rightness. A feeling of calm settled upon me, quieting most of the agitations in my heart for the past weeks. And whatever anxieties were left behind, the feeling of rightness took them by the hand and said, "The way through is here. Keep the faith."
I am teetering on the edge, as usual, faced with an old dilemma. But I have done this test so many times and I have the suspicion that it keeps coming around because somehow I always just missed the passing grade to make the average score in order to move on to the next level. But I have a good feeling that I may have finally broken through. If my recent night dreams are any sign to go by then I am indeed not hopelessly lost. And everything else will fall into place, everything that has been suspended like the story endings of Scheherazade.
Everyday I have less to lose, less to fear. My own days tick away into the past. Only my hunger grows and sharpens. Only my longings swell into terrifying proportions. Soon I will only be a pulsing thrumming swirling tornado made up of desire. A gathering of black clouds pregnant with lightning and thunder unable to touch the earth. I am wound-up and wounded, all the more strung up with rage for being cornered.
The insomnia is creeping back with a soft vengeance. I make the most of it by weaving poems and stories out of the debris left over from the long battle through midnight and the wee hours of the morning. My lacerated heart heals over enough during the day to withstand fresh assaults when it is time to go to bed.
Today I received orders for the shop. Nine paintings are on reserve. I am stunned. I am happy. I am grateful. Nine is a lot of steps from nothing.
Tomorrow I will work by making more paintings. Revive my daily planner and plot in post office runs and supply runs. Keep records of sales and track payments. Live as if this is not a trial at all but the real thing. That it is happening now. The magic is unfolding.
It is real, it is real, it is real.