Last night I had a dream that someone or something was knocking, and it represented getting a step closer to becoming a full-time artist, and in my dream, I said to myself, “This is a perfect metaphor for what I’m going through — I should blog about it tomorrow.”
(Yes, I am apparently scouting for metaphors and blog post ideas at all times, even in sleep…)
And then this morning the sound of my daughter’s loud knocking on my bedroom door yanked me out of sleep. And my first thought, to go with my first blink of the day, was, “There is resonance that she is waking me up by knocking, when I had that dream about art knocking.”
(ALWAYS SCOUTING FOR STORY. Sometimes to my detriment, like when I spin stories to convince myself that something is right for me, because I want it to be, not because it really is.)
I do think it’s meaningful, though. Her knocking. She knocks loudly these days: “KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.” Meanwhile, my artist: “Please (tentative knock) I’m afraid I need you (knock knock) oh no I’m feeling terribly sad and trapped, I really think I need your attention (knocks more urgently), uh oh I might be LOSING MY SHIT (KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK).”
What do we do when there’s so much knocking, begging for our attention, and we can’t possibly open every door? Can’t answer each knock all at once?
Perhaps we take Glennon Doyle Melton’s advice, which my friend Rachel shared with me this morning: “Just do the next right thing.” (I’d amend that to remove the word “Just.” As if doing the next right thing is easy! It’s not.)
Maybe the job is to decide, one knock at a time, what and who to give my attention.
It sounds so simple, but it’s not. I get paralyzed. SO MUCH KNOCKING! Sometimes instead of opening any door I just sit there feeling oppressed by the sound of so many demands. These are the bad days. Or I just answer my daughter’s knocking because that’s my primary job and she will not be ignored.
I should take a leaf from her book.
Today, after a grueling morning getting her off to school, I answered the door that my artist was knocking on. We went to a coffee shop, ate the most delicious apricot ginger muffin, and booted up my laptop.
We’re happy now.
I’ll leave you with this:
Original background photo courtesy of Dickson Phua on Flickr