New year, Same me. Portals and Pathways, no. 4

Bridgette Guerzon Mills, Portals and Pathways, no. 4, 8×6 inches, encautic mixed media

I found this poem today and the lifelong practice of seeking and listening really spoke to me.

by Mark Nepo

I don’t know why I was born
with this belief in something
deeper and larger than we can
see. But it’s always called. Even as
a boy, I knew that trees and light
and sky all point to some timeless
center out of view. I have spent my
life listening to that center and filtering
it through my heart. This listening
and filtering is the music of my soul,
of all souls. After sixty years, I’ve run
out of ways to name this. Even now,
my heart won’t stand still. In a moment
of seeing, it takes the shape of
my eye. In a moment of speaking, the
shape of my tongue. In a moment of
silence, it slips back into the lake of
center. When you kiss me, it takes
the shape of your lip. When our dog
sleeps with us, it takes the shape of
her curl. When the hummingbird
feeds her baby, it takes the shape
of her beak carefully dropping
food into our throats.


This is still work from last year, sometime in November. And today it is the first Friday of the first week of 2023 and I have yet to get into the studio. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am anxious to start. But first I needed to clean out and clear out and make some changes in my studio space. I wonder if it’s some sort of ritual for me. Before I start preparing for a show or deadline, i have to change around the energy flow of my studio. Or maybe it’s procrastination. Maybe both. Today I spent all day on end of the year paperwork. But it’s done, hurrah!

My calendar is filling up with deadlines and I am really excited because there are a few really wonderful opportunities ahead that I am grateful to have. It’s been a long time since I have submitted my work for shows because I am generally pretty busy with the galleries I work with, but also the pandemic years slowed things down for me to be honest. These past few years too, pandemic aside, have been difficult. It all takes a toll on the energetic capacity to create and keep creating. At times I felt like my well had dried up and everything just felt hard. I felt drained. It might seem from an outside point of view that it hadn’t, but it’s a constant inner dialogue. Creating art is my work and so I show up and hope that I can meet myself and listen when I’m at my table or easel.

At the end of last year I decided that I really needed to start submitting again for several reasons. Sometimes I just need to do something a little different to get out of the same old same old. I submitted my portfolio a while back to a somewhat newish art center in northern Baltimore County. It’s a really neat space in a pre-revolutionary mill. For this country, that’s considered old. I’m excited to share that I just heard back from them and they offered me an opportunity to exhibit this year.

I accepted an invitation to create an outdoor installation at Adkins Arboretum this year too. I am thinking of sculptural book art again….. we shall see. My proposal is due early April. I mentioned this in an earlier post that I was invited to be part of a 2 woman show at the gallery at Adkins this year as well. That exhibit isn’t until November. But I am really excited about that opportunity to create for that as well.

I will continue to create work for the galleries I work with. And there’s a show coming up for Lark and Key next month that is bird themed and I will be sending one painting. I submitted to a juried show for one of my sculptural pieces and I’m still waiting to hear back. I just remembered that I also submitted work for publication for a literary magazine. That was a while ago so hopefully I will hear back from them one day.

I really believe that creative work is meant to be shared with the world- and that world could be an intimate one which could mean just creating for the self, giving yourself the permission of time and supplies to make something. Or it could be much larger, whatever that means- with one other person or with multitudes. I recently went to a musical performance at my son’s magnet school for the arts and there was one vocal student who sang so beautifully, that I teared up throughout her performance. When people shine their light out into the world, it really touches something tender in me. It is a beautiful form of generosity of spirit to heed the call and then share it with the world.


  1. Lovely blog post, Bridgette. The poem really hit home, too. I usually don’t comment, even though I do follow you on Instagram.
    Hope the year ahead is a happy and fruitful one!

    1. thanks so much Mary for visiting me here and for your comment. Wishing you a happy 2023 as well!

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