On Letting Go

Posted: November 25, 2013 in journal, Women, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell —

Portals- (2013) -oil on canvas-77x61 cm  (30x24) --

Portals- (2013) oil on canvas- 77×61 cm (30×24) —

An aside to the story.


“Get over it!” “Move on” I tell myself, but it doesn’t go away, it hangs over me like a little cloud.   Six years now and one would think I would have just accepted it all and moved on, but deep in my stubborn brain I have not!

In 2007 the economy was starting to collapse, we were in Florida at the time.  The real estate bubble kept getting bigger and bigger and I could see it all crumpling around the edges.  I wondered why no one else could ……

My galleries were closing, grants dried up, classes got smaller so we packed our bags and went back to New Mexico. I built my beautiful studio, I went looking for students, I went looking for teaching positions, I went looking and found brick walls.   To this day the brick walls are still severely in place, and the economy has not recovered.  At this point I no longer believe it will and that this is a new reality.

Wallowing in turmoil and unable to completely comprehend and accept that everything I had worked for and planned was gone, that I had been reduced to a mere piece of meat in the retail industry, that for all my talents, ability, skills, experience, I had nothing that was considered of value, consequently, I found it difficult to see anything positive.

It lead me to the conclusion that what I was going though is a variation of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

All my life if there was a crack I could find a way though it; if there was the traditional lemon, I would make gallons of lemonade; if there was dark I would find light; if something needed changing I would change it for the betterment of all…….

I do believe that it is not so much the fact that the world has changed, the world is always in a state of change; but that I was not allowed to change with it, that I was left behind without that crack in the fabric, without the lemon and only the dark; begetting anger and pride, which became my stumbling blocks to any real recovery.

People I knew backed away from me unable to deal with my frustration, responding in silence to my cries of woe.  My husband says I had such an extraordinary life that no one can relate to it and that they never will, they cannot comprehend the driving force that make me continue, they cannot accept the current failure.

Slowly in spite of the syndrome, acceptance is taking place. More importantly understanding comes into play.  Learning to face each day with joy is now a reality.  I paint now only for me, when the mood strikes. The need grows less with each passing year.  Looking at everything I have done with new eyes, I take pieces of the old, meld them with new elements creating an image of who I am today.  The paintings are just as strange and different as my life has been; they have become my therapy, showing me the way out. One day they will all be consumed by the great bonfire, a sacrifice to the gods for a life well lived.

This Thanksgiving, I am more grateful than ever, my eyes are opened, my head is clear.  Grateful for a beautiful studio, grateful for the job I do have, grateful we can pay our bills and put food on the table, grateful that I have had the life I had, that I could accomplish so much in so little time.

I have been carrying this rock for a long time now, slowly I now let it go and watch it roll down the hill, disappearing into a deep crevasse.

One stone does remain: my stubbornness;  for I still hold onto the belief that somewhere out in that brave new world, somehow, there is a bit left for me to do……

And so the story will continue…..



  1. Dear Cassandra,
    yes, I love Joseph Campbell too – exspecially interesting I find his his last interview “The Power of Myth” (1988, more than 200 pages).
    When you watch a Hollywood film nowadays you will notice that the plot-design is following Campbell`s “The Heroe with Thousand Faces”, the “Bible” of scriptwriters.
    Have a happy Sunday


  2. Nancy Tanner says:

    I love Joseph Campbell, and I hope your story continues….!


  3. Doug Grant says:

    I still think you are a terrific artist.
    I like and appreciate your paintings.

    Best wishes.

    Doug Grant
    Brockville, ON, Canada


  4. I love the quote and your stories. Life is such a journey and yours certainly has been full is so many ways. Letting go must be a life lesson for us all Cassie…it is the only healer besides love and acceptance of ourselves. At least that is my thinking at this point in life.


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