Lost in the Forest

What do I do if I am lost in the forest?

Stand still. Stand still
The trees ahead and the bushes along side of you are not lost.
Wherever you are is called here.
You must treat it as a powerful stranger and ask permission to know it and be known.
Listen. Listen. The forest breathes.
It whispers, “I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you can come back again.”
No two trees are the same to the raven.
No two branches are the same to the wren.
If what a tree or a branch does is lost on you, then you are surely lost.
Stand still. Stand still.
The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.
—“Lost” by David Wagoner

 

I came across this poem at a time in my life when I was feeling quite lost, quite stuck and I found it very helpful. I am trying to live by it, to keep some time open to just listen and just be. I have started painting again. I have also started to work through the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. I am trying to work on what kind of artist I want to be to experiment with some different techniques and ideas and learn new skills. I feel that that label “Illustrator” is limiting and “Artist” is a better label but I know I need to narrow it down to something more marketable. I just haven’t figured that out yet. I’m just going to have to be OK with being unmarketable for a while. In the painting I did here I am trying to convey the idea of being lost in your own mind and taking the same advice to be still and get to know the “forest” around you.