(Say it out loud; you’ll probably get the joke, if you hadn’t already.)
I’ve been taking weekly solo artist dates for the past fifteen years, ever since I first stumbled across Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book that has had as powerful an impact on my life as anything I’ve ever read. For a couple of hours every week, I take myself off on a festive solo adventure. I’ve scarcely ever missed a week; on those rare occasions when I have, whether it was a case of “oh, drat, I just really don’t have time” or “hang on — did I take my artist date this week?!” I have always viewed that omission as a giant red flag, a sign of self-abuse. Mind you, sometimes I do get into ruts with my artist dates, opting for the same things week after week — but hey, long-term relationships can be like that.
Yesterday, I had an unusual early morning appointment well off my usual beaten path. The drive along unfamiliar terrain, through a beautiful autumn-dappled state forest, had me feeling very peaceful, happily steeped in solitude. After my appointment, I went to a bookstore for my artist date, where I settled into a leather club chair, laden with magazines. At length, with an issue of Somerset Studio’s Art Journaling splayed open in my lap…I fell asleep.
Oh, it was lovely!
I love naps. I love that level of sleep in which I know that I’m sleeping. Time stretches and shifts; ten minutes can sometimes be as restful as ten hours. The everyday becomes numinous.
It’s such a simple gift to give myself. All I have to do is stop, just be still, just be, just for a little while.
A waste of precious artist date time? Not in the least.
Winter’s on its way. Time, I believe, for me to start taking more naps.