I have a fantastic ATC (Artist Trading Cards) group that meets monthly. It is so much fun to gather and share our little pieces of art, talk about techniques and tell our stories of why we made what we did. We have a theme every other month and this month the theme was Architecture. It is always so interesting to see everyone’s take on the theme. We had everything from women’s architecture and the elements of architecture to pyramids and obelisks. These women are so creative. I highly recommend starting an ATC group if there isn’t one near you. ATCs are a great way to try new techniques and ideas.
My architecture of choice was the keystone. I have always been amazed at how one stone could be the element that kept all the other stones in place. I like to do a little research about the topic I am working with so my research led me to thinking about the keystone in a different way. There were lots of links about Keystone Colorado and the Keystone Kops but the more interesting links referred to things such as a keystone species of an environment…a species critical to the health of the environment or the keystone idea of a philosophy. That got me thinking about personal keystones. Particularly what is my keystone? What is the thing that keeps every other bit of my life in balance? Is the current keystone the always and forever keystone? Personally, my current keystone is my health. Without my health I don’t have the energy I need to care for my family and friends or the energy to fuel my passion for my art and teaching. My health has been crumbling slowly over the last two decades and I fear that I am close to a tipping point where I will never be able to regain a solid keystone. I have been taking steps to mend my keystone but the patches haven’t been quite strong enough. One autoimmune disorder has led to another and another.
I am in the process of carving a new keystone, a strong one that will enable me to be and do all that I am passionate about. It is difficult for me to focus solely on my self, my health, my needs as that isn’t my natural inclination. But, as I so often and readily tell others, you have to take care of your body and soul before you can take care of others. I am taking my own advice and approaching this task with a sense of discovery instead of dread and frustration. I am slowing down to see
what is around me. I am taking time to care for myself body and soul. This new keystone will be strong and beautiful.
What is your keystone?