Day 26: The Shift

An ominous feeling. A shift is coming. Something is building up, I can feel it. Welling up, piling up, beams and supports creaking and groaning under the weight.

Lost. A haze, a fog. Where are the supports and beams?

The world, my world, is about to change. I want the world to change. A thrill of hope, a rush of adrenaline, a deep seated excitement from somewhere inside me. I don't want the world to change. I'm terrified of the world changing. The floorboards under me are shifting and moving, and what if I fall into the pits below? I can't keep my balance. Everything is out of control. Spinning, spinning. The world is spinning. How can I stop this change? What can I hold onto? Something, anything. Addiction, numbing, perfectionism, crying.

I love my life.

I hate my life.

I'm not bipolar; I'm human.

Here I am again. Sitting across from my therapist, hearing the words come out my mouth again. I don't know why I'm here. It's all I know to do. Maybe if I keep coming back, she can keep this shift from happening. Maybe she can tell me what's shifting. Maybe she can...

The room rocks back and forth, like an earthquake, like an explosion. Everything is sideways, the furniture tilted and the ceiling closer than before.

I leave the room crying. Keys into ignition. Engine starting, I need windshield wipers for my eyes. 

Something is happening. A new set of colors in my palette, but I don't know how to use them. I've never used this color before. I don't know how to mix it, what shade it makes or what texture it creates. My hand paints automatically; I can't hold it back. Tears have fallen into the paints and the consistency is different. How do I keep it from running? The colors are running...the picture isn't right...I can't control the art.

I can't control The Shift. The colors are running, and I am running. One mile after another after another. Two, four, six, eight. Take a break. Drink some water. Something is happening inside of me while I run. These thoughts aren't my thoughts, these attitudes aren't mine, either. Where did they come from? Too much time at Goodwill picking up others' leftovers?

Painting after painting. Canvas after canvas. Messy, spilled colors, wrong hues, new unrefined creations.

Something is shifting. The colors keep changing. Brushes keep disappearing. Where did I place them? Why can't I find my old, favorite brush, and where did this new one come from? I don't know how to use these tools.

Practice. Showing up, using what I have and doing what I can each day because the art cannot stop. The art will not stop. It has a mind of its own, a heart of its own, a will of its own, a life of its own. It is alive in its own right, and somehow my hands have to find the right way to let it out. Bring it to life. Give it its freedom.

Freedom. Is that what lies on the other side of the shift? Or is it the point of The Shifting, as in present tense, state of motion, gerund. The room is sliding again. Books clatter to the floor. In the setting of the sideways, I'm still upright. In the setting of the world, I am sideways with my room.

The Shift.