Saturday, June 4, 2016

guilt is a good teacher

hello everyone!
I'm happy to be back.
I hate that it's been weeks since I've posted.
I miss my on-line tribe. (yes, that's you!)
My time is so much more limited
now that I'm in a prison cell
(I mean a cubicle) for 8 hours a day. :)
During the past few weeks,
there's been some art,
lots of reading,
beach walks,
finding something
and losing something.
Not necessarily in that order. 
I look forward to the days
where i can blog more regularly again.
So I have to share this story with you.
I went to a restaurant earlier this week for lunch.
It was a cool day, so i brought my book
and had a nice bowl of soup.
When I walked out of the restaurant,
there were 2 people walking my way -
a young woman and a young man
both dressed in black.
They both had huge backpacks on,
with dangling silver cups on the side.
"Excuse me", he said.
"Could you spare some money?
We're hiking across Canada
and we're looking for any help we can get".
I stopped long enough to acknowledge them both,
smiled, and said "no, sorry"
and they turned away & continued to walk
and I kept walking my way to the office.
Why did I say no?
I couldn't believe I had said no.
Hello guilt.
me: Why didn't you give them something?

the other me: they should have a bit of money if they want to do this.

me: But they're 2 young people living a dream!

the other me: maybe they'd buy drugs or booze.
it's not up to you what they spend it on.
When you give from the heart, you just give!

the other me: they shouldn't rely on others for something like this.

me: You should've given them at least something
and let them spend it however they want to!
me: You have at least $80 in your wallet and a brownie.

You could have at least spared $5 AND the brownie!

Who hasn't wanted to do what they're doing at one point in their life?

How brave they are to be leaving with little in their pockets 
and the HOPE that they are gonna make it!
me: Remember Cheryl Strayed - in the book WILD?
How there were moments when she was hungry
and she had to rely on the goodness of strangers
to make it another day?
YOU could have been that stranger.
 you could have been that stranger...
I turned around to see if I could still see them,
and considered running after them to give them something,
but they were nowhere in sight.
They were gone.
Slowly, and with a heavy heart,
I walked back to the office.
When I got to my gray little space,
I told a co-worker what had just happened
and that I regretted not giving them something,
and her reply was:
they should work for their money
just like we do.
As I sat down and pretended I was a robot again,
I thought about how selfish we've all become.
When did we become so greedy?
So unfeeling towards others?
I have no problem sending money
to starving children in third world countries,
but when I have 2 human beings
in front of my face - I say no.
I didn't let the guilt wash over me
any longer than it had to -
I don't let myself feel crappy about myself
for too long - because deep down,
that accomplishes nothing
and i think we're all doing the best we can
at given times in our lives.
But I did make a conscious decision
to do things differently next time.
So many of us have opportunities every day
to do things differently.
To be that stranger. 
And just when I was in need
of something good in my week,
i get this lovely card from a fellow artist
with words that melted my heart.
Thank you Lorinda.
Your card could not have come
at a better time. 
...and then (I swear), THE NEXT DAY,
i get this lovely print from a painting by my good friend Tara, (T!)
who is also a wonderful artist -
(the actual colors are beautiful - this pic is not the greatest) 
along with a beautiful photo she took
of a bird in flight at the ocean.
I love the print so much T.
I love it all.

So i leave you with this.
I'm reading a book about some of the horrors
the Jews had to endure during WW2
and the Nazi occupation in Europe.
This passage stayed with me
and is probably the best definition of HOPE
I have ever seen.

Thank you all for sharing this space with me.


  1. Lovely line drawings, and those blue faces are very cool. I'm right there with you, trying to find time to post with a regular job and many other things consuming our time.

    Also, don't feel guilty! You can give the next person a buck or two, or a buck and a brownie! I will say, that I would have given them a buck if I had one handy, but we're not talking about a person who's lost a job but has to feed a family. Those two will find plenty of kind strangers, and won't go hungry.

  2. Your art is beautiful, I love every single piece. I like it how every piece is so different, yet very recognizably you. Love the colours you use as well. I understand what you're saying and the guilty feeling. I often feel the same, it's usual when you have to make a decision in a split-second, and before you know it the chance is gone and you wonder why on earth you did what you did, or said what you said. I think it's good when we question ourselves, that makes it possible for us to be that stranger next time ...

  3. lovely writing. So sensitive and the progressive drawing in between added so much.

  4. Okay the ending with the quote has me in tears. Guilt is usually a wasted energy... I think you would have given it to them had you thought it was underestimated your intuition. If they didn't ask the answer would still be no... I do give money at certain times...but my intuition tells me it's right...I believe you knew the difference!! Gorgeous artwork...Your co-worker was comforting you...but her statement was cold. I always assess the situation... I believe this time you did the right thing!! Please read the book "A gift of fear" by Gavin Debecker

    Hugs Giggles

  5. I totally understand you guilt. I ask the same questions and give the same answers as you. I also wonder why sometimes I give to some and not to others.

    The movement in your one piece reminds me of Northern Lights... delightful shapes and colours and flow.

    I really like the colours in the piece with the boat, stunning. You are lucky to have such talented artist friends.

    I am glad you are back to posting. I hope the art keeps flowing from you!