The world feels so angry right now, doesn't it?
At least it does to me.
It seems there's a shooting or a bombing
or a hate crime happening
somewhere in the world every minute.
It saddens me that we haven't yet learned
to live with each other
without killing one another.
I try not to let all the heaviness get to me,
but man, it's hard sometimes.
I haven't painted much lately
but the little bit I've done seems to have
set my heart in its place again.
It's a strange thing (and hard to describe to a NON artist)
but whenever I feel the weight of the world
on my shoulders,
it lingers as an uneasy, unsettled feeling
until I sit myself down and make art.
Or write something.
Only then do I begin to feel grounded again,
as though I am part of something grand,
even if it feels like chaos sometimes.
Years ago, when I was a young teenager,
I was sitting in a park one day,
looking at the trees,
and thinking about how we came to call them TREES.
They had no name, really.
They were part of the landscape around me
and until we categorized them as TREE,
they basically just existed.
I tried to look at the tree
with fresh eyes -
to think about how we shared the air
and the space and the same existence,
at this particular point in time.Without knowing it,
I was living in the moment.
For a few seconds,
I was ONE with the universe.
(...and, I've lost 10 readers.)
Hear me out.
Once in a while during the day,
something happens to remind me
that THIS moment
is the only one that really counts.
We focus so much on tomorrows
and on yesterdays
and on what ifs
and on should haves
that we lose sight of what we have,
right here, right now.
Of course I know it's difficult
to be with the 'here and now'.
We need groceries, so we need
to plan meals.
We need to work to pay the bills,
we need to prepare certain things in advance,
otherwise, they won't get done on time.
We're taking care of kids
and taking care of aging parents
and paying the mortgage or rent
and feeding the dog
and dealing with our own demons.
Being in the moment works
if you're a guru
or a yoga master
or a monk in a monastery.
Not so easy if you're a single mom
or if you have terminal cancer
or if you're holding down 2 jobs
to pay the bills.
But the funny thing is,
being in the moment
only requires a MOMENT.
I go through my day like everyone else.
But those magic moments can happen
In line at the grocery store.
Hanging clothes out on the line (yes, i do this and love it).
Driving the car to pick up my son.
Hearing a beautiful song on the radio.
So many moments in the day
have the potential
to be magic.
We just need to learn to tune in.
Sometimes, when I skip yoga,
I at least find the time
to sit myself down on the couch and breathe deeply.
3 deep breaths, in and out,
and I think
about the magic of lungs,
and the heart,
and the brain,
and good intentions,
and the energy of ALL living things
and of the power of love.
Poetry, music, art.
The stabilizing forces
when all else seems to fall apart.
Before I did this piece (below),
I had a knot in my chest.
Sometimes, we just need to get it out, don't we?
This works for me.
And just after this, I felt more grounded again.
Until the next frustrating feeling comes along.
Which I'll just paint again. ;)
I'm convinced that if more people learned
to write and paint their frustrations,
there would be far less hate in this world.
Or at least it would all be on paper
and not as bullets to the chest.