Life is very different for me now. I wake up on a Saturday morning and I am not scrambling a dozen eggs and juicing OJ; I am making coffee and writing. They are gone, far away gone, from Colorado to the Cresent City. Elizabeth is still here, finishing up the last hoorah but on this Saturday morning she is in Lafayette taking SAT – something she needs to move her on. “On”, will be far away too, it seems. Next year, they really will be all gone. Hmmmm. It is a strange, but good, feeling, kind of mellow.
The first thing I ask myself on this morning of semi isolation is “How did I do that?” I cannot conceive of waking up to five kids every morning and getting this house in motion. It seems my instinct of survival has blocked that from my memory – too much to absorb, too much to think about? Funny about life, we go through passages almost blindly, doing what we need to do without question and then later, look back and say just what I have said, “ How did I get through that?’ I am not making this declaration in a negative light, it was great, it was magical, it was fulfilling; I just don’t know how I managed to see about all of those people.I’m really not a multi tasker kind of person – I am very, very laid back. I do remember cooking – alot. I also remember the seemingly endless pile of clothes in the laundry room.Honestly, I thought I would live my entire life in that room – forever! And I do remember the conscious decision to put away my paintbox for those years. I realized early on that that would cause me frustration – to begin a piece and have to go deep into the night to finish it – not worth it. Instead, I think those years and my children gave me inspiration and I think they will manifest themselves in my art – it was the right decision for me.
Anyway, it is early November and I have the day to do as I please – this is a very new deal for me. I am going to enjoy this little piece of freedom for sure but I will always miss my busy home when they all were here and my day was filled with the most important activity of all, being “mom”.
I think of a quote by Jackie Kennedy and hope that I somewhat hit the target, but more than that, I hope they all know I tried my best on that one chance I got , just as all of you are…
” If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”
|just a favorite pic taken on the 100 year old carousel at City Park in New Orleans – a month before Elizabeth lost her grandmother, my wonderful mom. She was there on the little bench watching Elizabeth go around and around, each time waving as though the first time – this was a very difficult passage for me as “mom”…still is
So, whatever your stage in life is, I hope you are trying your best – no one is perfect, but everyone can be the best “them” (most of the time :)).
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
The rain is making me stay inside and I’m happy about that. I am forced to read and piddle and be quiet. I probably have 4 books started, all non-fiction, never fiction. One of them contains a quote by William Blake that I just read and felt I had to post:
“I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.”
This, as they say, “speaks volumes to me”. I wish people that were arrogant and conceited and smug would read this. I suppose it is a pet peeve of mine the way some people feel they are so credible – like they are responsible for things that they have had absolutely no control over. I suppose all of this rancor I speak with comes from my knowing children that are somewhat “disadvantaged”. I put that in quotes because I personally don’t believe they are “disadvantaged”, the people who think so are the ones that are truly disadvantaged because they are ignorant, prejudice, and certainly closed minded.
For the most part, we have certain attributes because we are “born that way”. I was born with blue eyes, a very desirable eye color, but can I take credit for that? No – I didn’t lift one feeble finger to get these blue eyes. I know the eye color analogy is a physical trait but I sincerely believe it applies to emotional, artistic, and mental traits also. It’s all about what you do with the blessings you have been given, “given” being the key word. I struggle with this while looking to find places to give.
|you can do it
I’m on a rant I suppose, but I can say what I feel here on the pages of “sketches” because it is my space. Anyway, I love this quote by Blake. I feel so fortunate, so blessed, if you will, that I am a painter. Art has been a part of my life for all of my memory and I cannot imagine life without it. It has gotten deeper and deeper for me – I have traveled beyond what I could have imagined as a young art student. I am not necessarily referring to the “skill” of it but to the metaphysical part of it – to the dimension it takes you. It is what I am supposed to do – I wish that each of us could discover our gifts – they are there, but sometimes the close mindedness of society tries to disallow you to celebrate them.
If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.
and so begins the day…a somewhat quiet Thursday, work, laundry, theater, conversations with friend sand family, writing, king cake, reading the paper, cooking supper, talking to God, picking eggs,remembering, surprises…a beautiful day, a gift just for me. thank you.
from “remember when”