For the past year or so I've been making art composed of layers of painted papers. Once there are enough layers, I take an electric sander to it and see what lies beneath the surface - what emerges, and what disappears.
I like to think of all those layers of paper as our conditioning. Who we really are gets covered up as we go through life. In my metaphor, the electric sander is the experiences we have that expose and rub off our conditioning.
What remains? A really interesting pattern that reveals the beauty and mystery of what we're made of.
It seems to me that world events, like the pandemic, can also function like the electric sander.
When we are stripped of our habitual ways of being in the world, there is a sense of wondering - and access to those inner qualities of resilience and creativity we often are not aware of. And along with that, new possibilities.
Do I want to continue living the way I have been, pre-pandemic? Or am I seeing something about the way I want to live now, to be of service, to connect?
Sometimes, just like when I sit in front of a painting or listen to music, I let myself be in the questions and let go of wanting a quick fix, a resolution, or a neat and tidy answer.
Letting myself sit in the unknown brings so many more possibilities than the stale already-known.