So instead I will show you the process of this particular playdate with the paint.
An old painting on board, flipped upside down. Boldly splat some blue paint across it and spread it around. Want some orange? Sure. Some magenta? Why not? Turn the board again? Ok. Draw an odd creature? Sure thing. Scrape through the paint with a chopstick - because it is fun to excavate texture and color. Let the wood grain be itself, because it is boldly persistent. Add softness with gesso-blended colors. Hello, Mudge!
Dear reader! You've whiled away another year with me on the blog...and that makes FIVE since its inception! I am so grateful for your time, your comments, your encouragement and for the lovely links to all the things that are inspiring YOUR playdates in the world. Shall we do it again next year? Yahooooooooooooo!
And so I find myself contemplating reframing.
Not the painting, no, it hangs free of frame. But the way I think of things. What if - WHAT IF - I could stop and reframe in the very moment of standing on the edge of that swirling pool of mist? What if I could tell myself this thing that is happening right now feels like the end of the world...and so it is also the beginning of something else, perhaps even better. I guess we would all like to do that, dear reader, shift perspectives in the very moment. And so we can. If we practice. If we intend. If we stay present and pause.
I hope you will remind me that I wrote this, the next time I stand on the edge? :)
Blog and blogger will be on a lovely break next week for the holidays, which, for us, will include a highly competitive no-holds-barred ugly sweater conception, creation and modeling competition which is sure to have our entire family questioning its normalcy and sanity. I wish you and yours a delightful malarkey-filled holiday!
It is a small thing, but this past week I was forced experience a different way of being in the world. An injured shoulder required me to stop using my left arm for the week. I am left-handed, so that made everything a bit awkward. Including painting. But I often draw wrong-handed to keep things loose, so the opportunity to paint an entire piece that way was too good to pass up.
This painting, created entirely wrong-handedly, does bring me both wonder and joy. And the realization that maybe, just maybe, the way I usually do things isn't the only or best way to do them. Apparently, it is never too late in life to become a diver. :)
I've been contemplating the idea of home - the feeling even the word itself conjures. Nhat Hanh invites us to come home each time we sit, each time we breathe, each time we are present to the wonders of life.
But the word home evokes different images, emotions and responses in each of us. A place, a time, a person, an ideal. Cox's photo has us peeking into what appears to be an abandoned home, yet the light lifts the image and makes it hopeful.
Nichtern's advice applies here. The pursuit of the next level of painting feels otherworldly, holy - just out of reach. It is the creative version of living at the edge of your eyeballs. There is a temptation to pursue it solely, intensely and fiercely. A temptation to raise the bar with each effort. But finding the sacred in what I already do well and easily is a sweet delight and an opportunity to both create and refuel at the same time.
I am reminded of a meditation on eating a tangerine by buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh: “Each time you look at a tangerine, you can see deeply into it. You can see everything in the universe in one tangerine. When you peel it and smell it, it’s wonderful. You can take your time eating a tangerine and be very happy.”
And so I will be communing with this avocado toast, dear reader. I'd love to hear what breakfast food held the universe for you this morning. :)
Cover that with a frosting of introversion, a desire for deep and meaningful connection, and a perhaps jaded view of love in general and you'd think it was a formula for comedic failure. Except it wasn't.
Following the repeated theme (cue 2 x 4 smacking against my head) of surrender to what is and a determination to follow the breadcrumbs of the universe (yes, even if they lead to a witch's cottage), somehow I tumbled right into a new beginning, "next step in the ongoing dance between self and other" - NICHTERN - which is as deeply connected as it is lighthearted and playful. Yay. :)
And so, as Buttercup and Westley (as Dread Pirate Roberts) awkwardly roll down a hill toward their next adventure, I find myself smiling at a universe which has a quirky sense of humor along with a penchant for heavy boards banging against the head.