When 2020 came along, when the pandemic hit and when my beloved aunt died at the very beginning of what was to become a two year long fear thrusting into minds and souls of the entire planet, I thought the thing was out of this world.
Crazy, of course, and I wasn’t repelling fear and anxiety, to make it clear. I wore gloves to the stores the few first weeks of lockdown 2020. It didn’t feel right, but I did it, just in case. Also, I tried not to breathe under the mask as much as possible, taking slower breaths. Like that was going to help.
Oh, yes, and the earthquakes in Croatia! The earthquakes. I almost forgot about those, like I got over the fear of my house knocking down over us while we sleep. I still make sure I put glasses away from the counter edge. What does this has to do with Oil on paper blog and me blogging here? It will all make more sense by the end of this reading.
Note: This blog post contains audio version at the very bottom of this post. Narrated by: yours truly. Enjoy the ride.
Getting close to death
After the virus got activated inside of me in 2021, and after surreal side effects that lasted for many months, things started becoming more clear. But after my husband’s ‘rona got activated, it got me thinking that he might die. That I might die as well. That we all might die. And the thoughts finally led to bearable realisation that eventually we all will die. Funny things aside. If you’re getting my Inspired conversations weekly newsletters, you’ll know how bad my husband’s side-effects turned out to be. To cut it short, once again I was afraid I might lose him, and after very intense weeks and all sorts of treatments, he is know in wheelchair unable to move his legs and body up to the waist. As we now know his condition should not be fatal and is to be only temporary. More than we know, we trust.
At the very beginning of 2022, this all has brought intense deliberation and reflection to my daily life. I’ve spent days and days, weeks and weeks in silent contemplation, through the waking forest as well as in the quietude of my home, when everyone was out.
Becoming friends with God
Many illusions have been torn down, from the beginning of Everything up to this moment. I can faintly comprehend, let alone express the things I went through. A deep spiritual catharsis that led me to the very depths of Self. There, I met God. Not in a fancy way, not in a shiny ceremony. In fact, it wasn’t spiritual at all. I just happened to be there, in nothingness, and in nothing happened to be everything. Me, and God, as one.
Through this intense process of dying where I feel like I wasn’t born again which I still cannot quite explain, my entire being and doing was questioned. Being a photographer and pursuing an online business seemed for a moment like a cause not worthy of graciousness we have been gifted upon coming to this heaven we call our home. And with my sinful past becoming a nun seemed odd.
Luckily, what I came to realise is that it doesn’t really matter what you do, what you choose to do for a living, how you choose to make money, but how you do it. How much of yourself you put into your work, and what parts of yourself you pour in. How deeply you are willing to walk the Path. Relief. Or a burden. Can the two be the same?
I can faintly comprehend, let alone express the things I went through. A deep spiritual catharsis that led me to the very depths of Self. There, I met God.Marina Ćosić, Oil on paper
What I came to realise is that it doesn’t really matter what you do, what you choose to do for a living, how you choose to make money, but how you do it. How much of yourself you put into your work, and what parts of yourself you pour in. How deeply you are willing to walk the Path.Marina Ćosić, Oil on paper
How I started blogging and why I started Oil on paper blog
Rewind to 3 years prior.
I’m sure you’ve heard the story if you have been around with me for a while. I started my blog with an online business idea in mind. I had no idea what I was doing, I had zero experience, I had even less knowledge about creative online businesses, but it took one amazing person and her work to show me a whole new horizon.
That was what I needed and that I took a hard grip on and haven’t let it ever since. It was Beth Kirby, sent into my stratosphere by God itself, who weaved in a breath of possibility. She, an inspiration, a muse, passed away way too soon only a week ago, and I’m still unsettled with the news, and I’m giving myself whatever time I need to process the loss of someone I never knew who touched me deeply. A crazy life, an insane world, a magical reality, all in one.
I was afraid, back then, to use my full name and start a personal brand, so I used an avatar. Oil on paper. Symbolising a painting technique I use, the never-ending mess in my kitchen, leaving a trace. Symbol of growth, the cycle of life and connection to nature, which we are not only a part of, but the nature itself. My aim was to write about my inner processes, personal growth, spirituality, and creative business in a meaningful and understandable way. I was thinking of making money by selling linen kitchen towels and shopping bags that I was about to sew, even though I didn’t know how to sew. For the note, I still don’t.
Not knowing what I was doing, even less what I’ll be blogging about
But I started. My first blog post was about how I started photography, followed by a post enriched with photos of a contemporary dance by Sharon Fridman I took years before during a contemporary dance week in Zagreb. Intention perhaps only to start, combination of text and photographs (which are still one of my favourites) very maladroit, I have no idea what I wrote. My second blog post, which I have removed a while ago, was for a gluten free banana bread, needlessly.
I continued as I learned and as I thought I should. It was awkward. My style changed as my thoughts did, my writing was all over the place, my intention was unchanging. I wanted to share, to express, to show, to give. It was clumsy, or so I thought and felt. I’m afraid to go back and read.
Knowledge is both limited and limiting, while on the other hand is enriching and broadening. If knowledge is used without being experienced and integrated, sensed and felt, it is plain. And this is how I feel my blogging and my creative endeavours have been so far. At the same time I was proud of where I got, how much I expanded and how much I have grown, and modest for how little did I know and how ordinary I was. A dance between ego and soul, the visible and invisible, a paradox.
Knowledge is both limited and limiting, while on the other hand is enriching and broadening. If knowledge is used without being experienced and integrated, sensed and felt, it is plain.Marina Ćosić, Oil on paper
Everything led me to here
The truth is, deeply inside I thought I’d be too much. I wanted to reach people, the ones I didn’t know, and once again I agreed to fit in, to play small, to adapt in order not to be denounced. Perhaps is the witch line we women cary like a red thread unwinding through generations, or perhaps it is only my experience in this lifetime that shaped my thoughts and consequently, actions. I moved a lot, more than 25 times in 39 years of my life, changed 6 elementary schools in 3 countries, was a refugee and had an accent that I somehow labeled as undesirable. So I chose to fit in, to adapt, to infiltrate, so I don’t get tossed. Survival.
However, in order to reach people, the right people, your people, you must be as you are, otherwise you repel them.
The idea that started bowling around in the past months, about taking a new approach to blogging, came as embodiment of a cognition and now feels the right time to put it into action. Funny enough, the pretentious ‘meeting of God’ gave me the impression, or better yet an insight that I cannot loose anything, for I do not have, I do not own anything. I only am. I only exist.
However, in order to reach people, the right people, your people, you must be as you are, otherwise you repel them.Marina Ćosić, Oil on paper
The future of my Oil on paper blog and what I’ll be blogging about
From this pure simplicity, “the unbearable ease of existence” as Kundera would note, I take a turn in my approach to blog and blogging in general.
So far it was SEO, it was Google, it was keywords, it was niche and ICA, it was the market, it was what my clients and readers wanted and needed. And now, with all this as a part of me, I choose to show my genuine angle on the things I go through regarding personal growth, soulful business and creative living, of course, respecting the technology and requirements it has.
Without approval or apologies, Oil on paper blog is ripening and growing into a place of good stories. My own, and of others.
To be honest, I don’t know what this means entirely, and as always, since the very beginning of everything, I intend to do things without knowing, without preparing, purely letting myself be surprised by this infinite and magical existence, just like the Fool card in Tarot.
Subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Inspired conversations
If you haven’t so far, which would be such a shame, you can subscribe to my free weekly newsletter, Inspired conversations, that I send out to my inner circle every Monday (which sometimes become Tuesdays). You can subscribe by clicking here.
Inspired conversations is where I share my thoughts, insights, and bits of wisdom through personal stories with my favourite people. A community of likeminded creatives who are heart-led and soul-guided towards pursuing their passion and discovering their purpose.
I hope to see you around.
Sending good vibes your way.
Audio file for listeners:
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