Everything Flows

{This is a drawing I made a while ago that seemed particularly perfect for this post. It’s called “Like a River”}

If there’s one thing that’s true in life, it is that everything changes. Everything flows, moves, and transforms, always. We know this inherently; we start out in our mother’s stomachs as just a bunch of cells dividing, and then we become a baby, and then a toddler. And we grow every year, change every year. Even when we’re adults and the change is not quite as apparent, we are changing every minute. And yet, why is it still so surprising sometimes?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my creative life lately. Really when have I not, but this past several months have been different. The artist’s life that I thought was my bedrock has turned out to be just as changeable as everything else. This has surprised me more than I can say. I sometimes wonder if this is a cosmic lesson—life is trying to teach me that nothing is solid, there’s nothing to hold onto. It is a hard lesson to learn when it messes with something so dear. And perhaps that’s the only way we will ever learn the most important lessons—to have the most seemingly solid thing in our lives be uprooted and shaken into the high winds.

And when this happens, it becomes clear how much we have been identifying ourselves by the thing that we were holding onto so tightly. For the past 5 years I have been “artist.” I liked the sound of it. I liked knowing who I was. Even on a bad day, I could come back to this definition and feel solace in it.

What happens when you’re not sure if that’s really who you are anymore? That thing that you’ve defined yourself by for so long.

It hurts is what happens. And it’s scary. Right now I’m scared because I’m not sure what it all means. And I’m sad because I’m afraid of losing this thing that I have loved.

I’m still making things; I draw, I write, I take pictures. I sit at my art desk with all of my artist things around me. I am not throwing away my pens or deleting all of the scans of my drawings. But something has changed, and I just don’t know where I’m headed now.

As true as it is that everything changes, I also do believe that everything flows where it needs to flow. This does not make it any easier, or less sad or scary. But it does give me some hope.

Five years ago, I could never have guessed where I would come through with my art because it has been such a flow. Such a rollicking stream flowing into all of the corners, sharp and smooth, that I would never have seen if I hadn’t gone along for the ride. I am so thankful for that. Deeply thankful.

And now I have to trust that wherever I am going next will be just as natural and beautiful and wild as this ride has been so far, whether there’s more art in it or not. If I can trust that and flow with it, there will be no other place to go but into the wide stream of a full adventurous life. And hasn’t that been the point all along?


10 Responses to “Everything Flows”

  1. 1 pewterbreath June 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Oh I love this so much that I can only whisper about it. Awe.

  2. 2 sza June 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    You made me cry.

  3. 5 tenchimouse June 21, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Love it. I do think you spoke for a lot of artists that went on or still on that similar “river” I know I’m still rolling in the rough side of it. But like yourself I’m deeply thankful for this life. A newly made chef and pursuing photography, it’s a challenge I will go forward with. Never give up! Aloha Nicole!

  4. 6 Cheryl June 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Moving post, powerful writing. Thank you, Nicole, for opening up your journey through the waters of ambiguity. It’s a realistic view of what it means to be an artist. So much less about the trappings (the desk, the tools) than about how you show up to your daily life. And I don’t mean showing up to “make art.” I mean how you perceive your world and how you respond. This also is art. You are beautiful.

  5. 7 Nicole | Blue Bicicletta June 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you so much for all of your kind comments! It felt cathartic to write this post, and I’m glad you all connected with it!

  6. 8 Cheryl June 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Lovely, Nicole.

    A beautiful reminder of how to trust the often mysterious nudges of things just beyond normal consciousness. An amazing description of slipping your moorings to enter the flow and fullness of being.

    What courage.

  7. 9 faygie July 1, 2012 at 5:58 am

    just discovered your blog . we all go through the same things in different ways. just keep pushing and stay true to yourself. take a long silent break to hear your own voice. you will find the authentic you….

  8. 10 Jon @ Garden Furniture Centre September 10, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Hey Nicole, I’ve been looking at your ‘rolling like a river’ image before and it reminded me of something in particular. The style themes of Edvard Munch but obviously not the content.

    Does that sound bonkers?

    It’s the flowing lines; the same sort of inspriration. If you can’t see it – just ignore me!

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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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