If not now, when?

chrysalis in progressA fellow Cosmic Cowgirl, Michelle Fairchild, posted a blog on our Cosmic Cowgirl community site today in which she discusses change and shared writings by Mark Nepo from whom the question above comes. The question opened up a path of inquiry I have been on like a key into doorway onto a new world. Why? How? Well, despite the fact that my work in the world is about transformation and change, I have spent the month of February in a sort of odd stasis. Barely moving forward. Not painting. Creating in spurts and only with other folks. Doing lots of burrowing and nesting and feeling like I was in cave or sunk into the soil. Lots of wandering into my studio and cleaning up of my studio and not lots of momentum. Not like my usual headlong embracing of creativity.

It has partly to do with the time of year which seems to have this effect on me. February is the middle of winter - regardless of the intermittent sunny day and blooming cherry trees here in California. It is the season midway between the dying back of the plants in the fall and the lush growth of the spring. It is the point at which compost transforms into life-giving soil - it is the point of transition at it's most mysterious.

My body responds by feeling discombobulated, internal, and energy-less. It is as if I am unmoored from who I was so I can move into who I will be. Things are unsettled, or perhaps, not yet settled. I am between.

Then one morning, a week or so ago, during a moving meditation, I see the image of a translucent chrysalis with swirls and ridges decorating the outside. Threads of many colors weave their way up into the bottom twisting and merging into the chrysalis. The entity inside the chrysalis sensed as something coming into being yet entirely formed.

A chrysalis? I muse on this image and let it settle into my heart - the sense and taste and feeling of it. Have I been in a chrysalis metamorphosing into something new? What will emerge? When will it/me/she emerge? Is it me or my spirit or? in the chrysalis?

Then, today, the question above fell through my musing like a small fish glittering through ocean waves. If not now, when? What am I waiting for? For something to tell me when to emerge from the chrysalis? What about right here, right now?

And as I thought these questions, the image of the chrysalis became clearer and clearer. What shape it is. The colors of the threads weaving into it. How all the parts merge into the whole. To emerge, I must paint myself emerging. I must be there right now, right here in this moment.

And so, I paint.