Its early Monday morning and I am up before 5; there is a storm in the Gulf and I feel a bit anxious. The work week will begin as usual but after today, who knows. I suppose I will buy batteries, fill water containers and gasoline cans, flip over the trampoline, lock up the hens and wait. In my life, childhood and adulthood, we have never left for a hurricane – we are the stayers – the riders of the storm. We will see…
In the meantime, in this early hour, my world is silent and I am here with thoughts. At first, there are so many they bounce around in my head and some find their way to this key board but when they settle down and my hands and my head come together I have one that I decide to share, something that may reach you, something worth reading?? It’s about purpose. I know I have written about that before and it does seem to be a reoccurring theme but it’s something I think of – a lot. It seems our purpose is universal – to contribute to humanity – to recognize that we are all a piece of the same whole but, it seems, the way we achieve purpose changes throughout our lives.
My purpose as a child was very narcissistic – it needed to be, I had to get to know myself so I needed to focus on “me”. I enjoyed observing that narcissism when my kids were little – they were in the “me” world and it was kinda cute – unfortunate for society some people never grow out of that stage and it doesn’t stay “cute” into adulthood.
Next, my purpose was to please my parents, especially my mom. It was my purpose to make good, or at least semi descent, grades, be a good kid and say please and thank you – that went on for a lot of years. Then society made its way into my cozy world and threw all of its rules at me – that’s when I got pretty disturbed. I was okay with the continuing formal education stuff – but I would have rather gone to the south of France and traced van Gogh’s tracks while leaving mine, but I was still being obedient and living the life that was expected.
Then there came the huge world of adulthood, that place after school when the world is suppose to be your “apple” – so many people to please, so many directions to take and so much crap trying to sway me – there were so many people telling me who I was and instructions on what I should do (so glad that stage is over and I am sorry I ever even took part in it – I suggest you find an alternative route if at all possible). It took a while , but now I am “here” and I love it “here” in this authenic, but ever evolving place – whew!
So, there are my two bit thoughts – take what you want from it – I believe any form of art is just suppose to draw an emotion – to make your wheels turn – so hopefully they are!! 🙂
What I am trying to say with this early morning, before the storm, post is that we are all an important and unique piece of this whole and each of us should make our own decision about what our purpose is. No one can tell you who you are – it doesn’t matter how many billboards you read, TV shows you watch, magazines you flip through – those “people” can’t define your purpose. It’s something only you can do – your closest friends and even your parents can’t do that for you.
Which brings me back to Isaac – if the lights go out and your world stops for a while, somewhere in that stillness you can listen to yourself, you can get in touch with your purpose perhaps (after you have taken care to be safe of course!). Sadly, sometimes it takes an extreme circumstance to make us stop and listen to our spiritual self – we are so busy being bombarded with propaganda from society and dodging ego we lose sight of our true selves, it gets lost in this world of propaganda and stuff.
I close with that and it is my hope, my purpose, with this loosely written post that today is focused for all of us; I hope that we can find the time (without the wrath of Isaac) to sit in silence.
“You cannot discover the purpose of life by asking someone else – the only way you’ll ever get the right answer is by asking yourself”.
The room, my studio, is quiet now, the radio turned to classic country is silent, the caps are on the tubes of paint, the memories are doused and the lights are off, it’s only the early morning rays that move about giving some illumination and hint to the night before – Saturday night is over. Isn’t there something about how everything looks different in the morning light? Well, it does. Last night, like nearly every Saturday night I listened to old country from 6 to midnight and I painted. It is when I allow myself to go back in time to drench myself in melancholia and think of the people I have lost (I know I committed to making this only a positive blog but just wait – it will be). It’s a ritual, my muse; it’s the way I create, I have to tap on something way beneath the surface and nothing works like old memories. I had four paintings going on last night – one of a serious nature and 3 small ones that are impulsive and fun.
I wake up on Sunday mornings and walk in my quiet studio and there on the easels are tangibles from the night before – it is glorious for me. It’s the music, the solitude, and the distance from obligation (and sometimes a few tears) that gets me there. It’s an interaction of art – I wish everyone could understand the importance of the arts – sadly, however so many do not and so many of those people are in control of our laws. (Sorry, I know that was a rant but I had to speak up).
Sometimes my mom would listen to music and she would cry. I was young then and my past was short and unblemished; I didn’t understand those tears that would just show up. I do now, I understand those thoughts of yesterday that well up your eyes and take possession of your heart, those times and people in your life that are gone, at least gone from this world. Those thoughts are pulled from you by songs and visuals and even fragrances and every now and then I need to visit those places. When I do, I learn something, I reflect and I think of things someone like my mother said or did and it fits into my life now and I get it – it’s as though her life remains a part of mine – she is still my teacher, my role model. My mother in law once gave me some very valuable advice – she told me to keep talking to my kids, no matter if it didn’t seem as though they were listening – just keep filling their heads with the right stuff and someday, somewhere they will draw from my words – just put it in there no matter what. I have found this to be some of the best parenting advice ever – I continue to listen to my mother as I shove things I think are valuable into the heads of my “kids” and hopefully, they will be able to say the same about me and yours about you.
Anyway, it is Sunday morning now and the muse is gone with the rising sun. I hope somewhere in this entry you can find something to relate to and to encourage you to set aside time to reflect and to cry and to feel all of those things that living provides you with. For me, it’s important to have those moments that take me back to those days and those people that helped to bring me to this point in my life – how can they be denied or forgotten? It takes quiet time to “go there” – it takes music or a book or a sky full of stars or a blank canvas – it takes art.
I will end with this very bold step and post my three quirky paintings from last night’s “session” – the “serious” one is not nearly finished – I might post later. I have proclaimed this my “Recycle, Reuse and Hang” series – it is just fun and hopefully I will continue to add to it.
|till next time
It’s finally Saturday morning and the rain is here. There is something happening that I think has never happened in the history of this nearly 30 year old house; I am alone on a Saturday morning. It is a new sensation for me. I am in this “place” of semi solitude that I have not experienced in quite some time. I am here with just my thoughts and they are somewhat soothing. These moments are the best moments because they are not moments of display – they are moments of reflection and a look inward instead of outward. The stuff on the outside, “ego”, is what distracts and causes apprehension and stress, the stuff on the inside, “spirit”, soothes.
Anyway, I choose to write with these few minutes of solitude but before I sat down to type this, I walked around in the quietness of my house and each room became a prop for some scene that had occurred and it was wonderful and difficult all at once – those memories, those moments, this stage that was, and still is, my life. These walls are external things but they prompt the memories and make it easier for me to recall. I walked past my studio and realized this tiny room, the smallest of all, has had the most impact – it was the playroom for the boys, filled with Legos and lunch and neighborhood friends, filled with a magical childhood and it was Elizabeth’s Barney room – he came on twice a day and twice she would watch and dance and sing. It is where she colored and played Candy land and it is where I rocked her to sleep. Now it is where I go to paint – there is so much soul there for me, those memories those pieces of life that linger there – they fill me up.
But I also know that this prop, this house, may one day not be here and I address that and I hope I can draw from within exclusively. It is these moments, these moments of solitude where you develop those strengths, those ways to be alone and to internalize, those places of spirit where ego is forbidden – this is where I become strong – ego wears us down, tears us up – it brings us up and then slams us down – spirit just soothes and heals. I am posting a grainy iPhone picture of my “studio” – it is a bit of a tumbled mess but it’s colorful and alive – some of the paintings are for Elizabeth – coloring and creating never stopped for her. I struggle with posting, I don’t want to exhibit “ego” – I just wanted to give you a visual – I love stories with pictures. I figured a room in this kind of disarray can’t possibly be thought of as egotistical – embarrassing perhaps – LOL.
Anyway, just a rainy morning post to say to you that I hope you find those places where you are just you – in spirit and away from the distractions of an ego driven society. It is becoming more and more challenging but, I think, it is essential to be “there”.