“This season offers a unique opportunity for me to get in touch with deep inner peace. Especially noticing the state of the world around me at this critical moment in time, it is my responsibility to take care of the myriad of emotions moving through me in response.”
Winter arrived today in Berkeley. I’m wearing a scarf and slippers in my office, and my fingers are still purple. The sun sets before dinner, I can see my breath, and the stars shine brighter in the crisp night sky. Winter, like an old woman with long silver hair, invites me to my inner hearth and asks me to slow down, to listen, and to rest.
These imperatives can be challenging given the hustle bustle of the season around me. The majority of society frenetically runs the opposite direction with parties, shopping and flights across the globe. But as an artist I need to make space for myself–especially this time of year. I’ve had to explain myself to family, friends and co-workers multiple times. Please don’t take it personally if you don’t see me at any of the holiday parties this year (or ever). I am really not a Scrooge, I am simply an artist.
This season offers a unique opportunity for me to get in touch with deep inner peace. Especially noticing the state of the world around me at this critical moment in time, it is my responsibility to take care of the myriad of emotions moving through me in response. This is the time of year that restores me and provides me the inner reserves to go back out into the world come the new year. This section of black on the canvas of my soul makes the reds, yellows and blues all the brighter when their times come.
This need to do less this time of year is partly why I am not creating anything right now. I am not writing, not painting and not weaving. I am waiting. I am listening. I am exhaling and emptying. I am allowing myself this sacred silence, this pause, this moment of stillness. And I am celebrating it, silently, outside, with the stars.
Eila Carrico is a weaver and wordsmith who delights in the mystery and magic of landscapes and memory. She grew up in rural central Florida, and was inspired by her studies in journalism, anthropology and religion to travel around the world and teach in Paris, Ghana, Thailand and India before settling in the Bay Area in 2008. Check out more of her work at: http://www.eilacarrico.com. The italicized quotes within this piece are from Eila’s upcoming book, The Other Side of the River debuting in 2016.