About a month ago I shared a dream I had about renting an art studio space with wide windows onto the sea. My spiritual director said my psyche was insisting on more space for my art. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I love making art out of my home and as I did a cursory search of art studio spaces in Seattle I knew that didn’t feel like the spacious response my soul was longing for. Then somehow I came across a listing for a beach cottage near Poulsbo, about an hour away, in part by ferry, right on the Hood Canal. The owners rent it out by the week during the summers but wanted someone to rent it for the fall and winter months when vacationers don’t think of coming to the Northwest for a beach vacation.
The short version of this story is that I went to see it and when I walked into the space I knew it was right. But it seemed so crazy, renting a house when we have a perfectly lovely home and no extra income. And yet, as much as I love living in the heart of the city, there is such a longing in me to spend more time on the water and listen for how it might change me. I want to have nights where I can sit under the expanse of a star-brilliant night sky, and breathe in eternity. When I told close friends, every single one of them smiled broadly and encouraged me on. One said this time ahead was for “art-making and word-play and adventures of soul” and another said “this is a long time coming.” So for the next few months, I have an art studio on the sea — my little creative Hermitage where Tune and I will spend part of each week and the other part back at the Abbey in Seattle.
I “moved in” officially on Tuesday to begin my season by the sea, part of this pathless journey I am embarking upon. It seemed so appropriate to me that the moon reaches her fullness tonight because her wide white body mirrors the expansiveness I feel. In addition, it is the harvest moon which is the name for the moon closest to the equinox. Harvest is a time of gathering in the mature crops from the field. It is the end of the growing cycle for a particular crop. In many ways, this time ahead is about harvesting what has been planted and planting new seeds as well to blossom into the spring. This time is as much about my art and writing as it is about my spirit’s hunger to live into something I have yet to name. My spiritual director the other day told me I have great courage in taking this journey. I was grateful for the affirmation, but honestly, at this point in my life, not doing this feels scarier to me.
Make sure you visit the Poetry Party happening here. There is an abundance of beautiful words found there.
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts
(photo taken this morning on the Hood Canal)