when i first met my husband 8 years ago, i was working as a medical social worker on an infectious disease unit at a large hospital. i was meeting patients who were learning of their HIV positive status for the first time, running support groups, connecting them with resources, agencies, medications. it was a very intense job, and i loved it. but even with the joy that came with the idea of being in a helping profession, it still weighed heavy on my heart. i was learning in that year in particular how to set boundaries, to leave work on time, and to leave the anxiety, the questions, and the heartbreak at the job. in the midst of all of that learning, i met john. as we fell in love, my heart and my mind were consumed with the potential and the possibility of our relationship, and i was released of the burdens i was holding close. i have very clear memories of walking the halls of that hospital, responding to the latest emergency, but not having that feeling of dread, but instead having the feeling of “i have found love and all of this doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.” i was inspired by it (love) and it gave me a greater sense of appreciation and perspective. i felt light and joyful, even with all the confusion and pain that came with my profession. i like to think i was a better practitioner (and person) because of it.
the same thing happened when i discovered art. the feeling of inspiration gave me perspective, clarity, and the feeling of lightness. the cluttered house doesn’t make me cringe as much anymore. i know what i want to be when i grow up, so to speak. it’s ok when my social work job is tough – i have a nice balance between it and making art. i had a phone conversation with a friend today about her personal unearthing of the thing that is bringing her love and inspiration and i couldn’t be happier for her. these things, these findings, are life changing, as simple as they may be. passion is everything.
“kelly rae, spill wide” was written to me by SWH recently on a piece of art i bought from her, and today, this weekend, i am trying my best to do just that: spill wide. i’m working on a project with possibility. it may take me in a new direction, it may not. but the journey of putting it together is what’s important to me. i want to spill my heart and joy and senses into it and see what happens. isn’t this what it’s all about?