And now, pitch black except for the stars.

You will surprise yourself. You will do things you never thought you would do--good things, bad things, and crazy things you haven't put into either box. 

Last year my mom and stepdad bought a house in the country on several acres of farmland and forest. They invited me to stay with them for a while when my lease was up in Portland, and the immediate voice in my head said "I would never." I have lived in the city for 8 years, surrounded by all my favorite people and places. I crack my window at night so that the city sounds can lull and wake me. I never sleep enough. To some people and in many cultures, living with one's family as an adult may seem normal and even wonderful, but to an independent person like myself it sounded strange and unproductive. Totally unlike me. Crazy.

Over the weeks following our conversation, a deeper voice within me began whispering, "Maybe." The trees in the countryside beckoned me to walk beneath their branches. I dreamed of them. They were having a secret conversation with my soul, and it was only a matter of time before I would overhear it. And then I surprised myself. I decided I would go. 

I've been working on a project dedicated to my grandma. Every day of 2018 I illustrate some way I chose to live actively instead of passively--to feel and experience what can be felt and experienced. It has coincided quite evenly with this new chapter away from the city for a while. Not so far away that I'll never see my friends, but far enough that I'll make the drive sparingly and focus my energy on a unique season. A couple months maybe? I don't know yet. I'm working independently now, able to communicate with my clients from anywhere, so why not from the country? My backyard will be a forest. I will know quiet. I will become more human.

I love the process of making a new space my own. It's like when you buy a fresh notebook in a different size and your creativity takes different shape. I spent the first couple days hammering nails into the walls and arranging plants throughout my bedroom, asking each one how much light it would like. I'm making it my woodland studio. 

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Don't ask me where. It's a secret. 

Karlee PattonComment