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The In-Betweens

On doubt, fear, and wanting to know.

Hello my dearest Doodle Soupsters,

Sometimes, I just want answers. Even with all the exhilaration and magic of a mystery, sometimes I just want to know.

When I show you my artwork and write about them, I find this openness where it feels natural to share myself with you. Yet, in between the moments of writing or painting or drawing, I get scared too. I'm scared even to admit how often I feel doubt and fear.

Why doubt? Why fear? What lies underneath? What is its purpose?

Maybe, there's a part of me that is still terrified that the rug is about to be pulled out from under me. That the floor is about to collapse underneath my feet. That I'm about to fall down, down, down. That I should be spending my time preparing, preparing, preparing for the doom, doom, doom that's on its way!

When I phrase it like that, I can't help but laugh. It is just doubt after all. It is just fear. Thoughts. Feelings. They don't have to be true. They don't have to mean the world to me.

What means the world to me?

- I holler. Wild tears run about my face, dribble down my chin and neck. My nose full of snot. My chest tight and bursting, at once collapsing in on itself and expanding outward. And he holds me. It's simple and true. What love is.

- The paintbrush in my hand holds all the power and magic of a woodland fairy's wand. Everything feels possible. I have no thoughts. In those moments, my whole being is so present with the canvas or the page. I feel limitless. I feel free. I feel alive. It's simple and true. The spaciousness. The freedom of painting.

Earlier this year, I made the painting above. It's called "The Infinite In-Between." I wrote the text a year or two before ...

The infinite in-between is that strange space that is everything and nothing and all the stuff in-between which is also everything and nothing.

I go off on a lot of tangents, but in a way, the tangents are the point rather than besides it. What is a destination anyway? What's the difference between a destination and a pit-stop? I still don't know.

Okay, integrals. There's this curvy line (a graph of a function) and you calculate the space underneath the curve by solving an integral. But! There are two kinds: definite and indefinite. With definite integrals, the space underneath the curve is a finite number like 5 or 37. However, with indefinite integrals, you end up with a result that is variable, like 3x or maybe even something crazy like (x^6)/2 + x^2 + 7(x^2) + 9x.

The point is when there's a variable like x involved in the answer, the "space underneath the curve" can be anything. It all depends on x. And x can be anything ...

I can fill the in-betweens with doubt. I can lay my sheets with worries. I can take up any space and time with fear. What's coming? What's coming? What if? What if not? What if this instead?

I don't know.

I keep coming back to the fact that I feel doubt and fear because this matters to me. My life matters to me. And it's okay. It's okay to care. It's okay to feel scared. It's okay to feel that urge to spend moment after moment tending to my infinite supply of wailing what ifs. I don't have to keep tending to them though. I can notice the urge to dissect each possibility and sigh instead. And say ...

Oh. Hello. Hello fear. Hello doubt. No, it's alright. It's alright that you've come to say hello. Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I understand. Well, I'm going to go outside now and say hello to the trees. Yes, you can come along. Just know I want a quiet walk today. Can we try walking together in silence? We'll all still be there. Walking. I just want to find some peace today. Alright? Okay. Let's go.

Trying my best,

Nicole Sylvia Javorsky


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