Is anybody there? Are you listening? If not, I hope you do because I have some news! I have grown tired of trying to be something I am not and of trying to place myself into boxes I do not fit in. “What in the world are you talking about Sabrina?” You may be asking yourself so please allow me a little bit of time to explain that to you.
In another week or two it will be the one-year anniversary of my leaving my full-time job to pursue my dreams. This past year has been one of trial and error, growth and frustration, but ultimately one of discovery. I am now convinced that nothing challenges the mind and will like stepping out on your own and trusting yourself. As a matter of fact, in the beginning it is overwhelming and can place a person like myself into a state of shock and fear.
I found it quite easy to begin judging myself harshly and comparing my work to others. Insecurity really sank it’s claws into my shoulders and climbed on my back. I attempted to shake the little fiend off by creating boxes and placing myself into them trying to make my creativity fit. However, when that did not work another little wench, Doubt, crawled into my ear and started whispering its horrid lies. So, I kept making new boxes and trying to force myself to fit into them and a cycle started.
Those constrictive boxes included activities and thoughts such as changing the way I edit my photos, opening a studio space, taking up sewing, developing the mindset that I had to change and save the world one person at a time and oh so much more.
Ugh, cycles with pigeon holes never get me anywhere except on the spiral slide down to my old frenemy Depression. Depression how she loves to pretend to make me feel better, but she is so two-faced it makes me cringe. When I meet up with her in her dismal abode it is like stepping into the Fae realm in the old stories. Where myths of the Fae tell us that you believe it has only been a day or night passing but when you get back to your own realm an entire season has passed. Thankfully, some events happened in my life to shake some sense into me, but I won’t go into detail about them here.
Instead these instances caused me to take a step back and look at what brought me to the decision I made last year of leaving my job in the first place. I asked myself, “What drove me in the deepest part of my mind and core to step out on faith?” At first, I thought it was the need to be creative or perhaps my love of the visual arts, which in part both are true, but there was more, and I had to dig all the way down to my roots to find it.
After peeling back layer after layer of the Russian nesting doll of my mind at the core is a simple principle and that is I have a deep love and attachment to STORY.
One would think that would be obvious to me since I have a degree in English for crying out loud, but simplifying my inner drive was hard for me. As my mother loves to tell everyone, “Sabrina and her Dad make everything complicated to figure things out. Let me tell you about the time she went out to hang Christmas lights with a calculator on the porch…” Then she will launch into that story laughing hysterically. I will admit I do make things complicated, but I blame it all on my creative mind.
Therefore, with this backstory in place allow me to introduce to you my first love Literature. Ahh, Literature she is my muse and has taken me on more journeys and inspired me more than anything else in my life! Consequently, she has shaped my life and molded me into who I am today. From the pages of the most published work in the world, the Bible, to the illustrated pages of Porky the Puppy, or classic myths, legends, fairytales, poetry, prose, etc. It does not matter what I am looking at or thinking about I look for her subtle threads connecting the world I live in. Naturally, her tendrils of inspiration show up in my visual art as well, so I have decided to start sharing with you what inspires me.
It will be fun! I plan to comb through the leaves of my vast collection of works and draw out selections that tug at my heart and mind. Words have such power that they can take you into different states of your mind and being. Art in general can be so stirring and evoking that it induces altered states of consciousness. Why else do people enjoy going to watch comedies, thrillers, or even tragedies on the silver screen? I just happen to enjoy arousing intense emotions with words, my paintings and photography. I suppose you can call me a classic romantic at heart which lead to the name of this podcast, Classically Lit with Sab!
Who needs to induce euphoria via substances when you can allow the classics of art to move you? I love what Dani Shapiro said in her book Still Writing, “Fill your ears with the music of good sentences, and when you finally approach the page yourself, that music will carry you.” Doesn’t that quote just conjure images in your mind?
Each week I will select a passage or work to share with you and discuss what it brings to my minds eye, as well as, share any visual art it inspires in my world on my website. So accordingly, I bring you to today’s selection:
BY WALTER DE LA MARE
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
(Sourced from The Poetry Foundation)
I hope you enjoyed today’s selection and I look forward to bringing you more in the episodes to come! If you would like to get to know me a little better be sure to check out my website at www.sabrinalgreene.com