" Soft and Unrepeatable. - charcoal and acrylic paint on Arches 300 lb watercolor paper, 22" x 30". Available here and at Artfinder.
“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.” ― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
I spent a day at the beach being uncovered.
I mean, I was wearing all the requisite gear for a brisk day on the Oregon coast, but my self was bare.
My eyes were bared to the beauty of a silvery sun reflecting on water-laden sand. My hands were bared to the feeling of kelp under my fingers, its aloe vera-ness and rubbery strength. My legs were bared to allow skipping and dancing through waves and sculpted sand. My feet were bared to the feeling of seawater soaking through boots and wool socks. My heart was bared to my companion, to his soulful dog, to my own spirit's longing. My face was bared to the caress of wind and sun on my cheeks. I felt everything.
Nepo's metaphorical gloves are gone. My heart feels as expansive as the sky. It is the best kind of overwhelm.
notanized image for size perspective
About the art: beginning with a 3 minute timer and a chunky piece of charcoal - capturing the gesture quickly. Adding a 5 minute timer to dilute the charcoal with titanium white and add some basic shadows and structure to the piece. Without adjusting too much the work of the combined 8 minutes, adding color and texture in a limited palette with liberal use of the sprayer bottle. Resisting the urge to become more realistic. And, once again, artist neglects to film the final portion. Oy.