"Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough." George Washington Carver
My takeaway from everything coming in my front door (vision books, equine therapy, painting ) teaches me to listen to my heart, to listen to my intuition, to pay exquisite attention to connections, to messiness, to loss, to the unknown. This week's online art class has to do with being brave, with the ability to reach outside of my comfort zone and stretch boldly beyond what I know of my life and my abilities. In my life, the unknown, my husband's dementia, will continue on, and I will can either define myself as being at a personal growing edge or falling into the abyss. I'm guessing it will be a lot of each, and yet, if I use painting as a metaphor, something totally unexpected can arise if I allow it to enter, if I don't rigidify with old thoughts and old feelings about not being able to do art or life.
As a piece of art therapy, considering what I've just written, I think this painting might say that's exactly where I am. Believe me, it looks a lot better as a small copy than as a 30x30 canvas. I spent the morning working on a second canvas with a similar amount of energy and created something that intrigues my growing edge. When I came to this one, I decided I needed to be a lot calmer. I needed to create a new starting place and so I did. I felt better instantly.
Tomorrow when I paint again, I will be guided by the past which shows through and the present, a softer more open and friendly place to begin again. It takes courage to paint either way. Perhaps the first painting would resolve itself into something I would love, and yet at the pivot point, I thought it took a lot of courage to say, "No, that's not a path I want to continue on, and I can make another choice." Actually it is all part of a single painting. I could have totally painted it over using opaque paints rather than transparent ones. Perhaps what comes of this will look a lot like the shadows seen in the background or that might look like the starting place of something entirely new. For me it is a conscious choice to be warmer, softer, more accepting and loving toward myself and my work.
"I've come to believe that standing back is far scarier than falling in. Standing back and being aware of it makes us feel stuck, makes us feel afraid, makes us feel less than. When we let ourselves fall in, we fall into our courage. We fall into our strength. We fall into our power and our worth. We fall into ourselves and our joy and meaning." Maria Shriver
Thanks this week and often to Terry Hershey whose blog, Sabbath Moment (firstname.lastname@example.org) is full of all kinds of inspiration and to Sister Barbara who pointed me in his direction.
Baruch ata adonai....I am full of gratitude for the opportunities in my life which lead me to growth and richness. In the days ahead may I be willing to reach in and out in equal amounts. If I only reach in, I will drain my well. If I only reach out, I will lose my balance. Help me to have faith in myself. Amen