Puddles and Yellow Hats

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Puddles and Yellow Hats

Two days ago was Tuesday, November 13, 2018.  It was what would have been my 25th wedding anniversary.  He didn’t die, we divorced over eight years ago.  But still, I woke up, realized what day it was and thought I needed to change gears.  Fill the head with other thoughts.

So I did what everybody does.  I picked up my phone to see what was new….

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A Response To Pain

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A Response To Pain

So much transition in my life these last few years… A few roads taken that seem mostly a mistake and others that tried to correct those mistakes.  But what all of it has in common in the last eight years or so, is the pain.  And not pain that can be ignored or denied, but the kind that is searing and in my face. The kind that will not let go without being addressed….

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Diary Entry 5: When There Are No Words...

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Diary Entry 5: When There Are No Words...

Sometimes a painting can mean so much it's hard to know where to start, how to explain it. And maybe that's the point. How much do I need to paint if words do the trick?  On the other hand, the words afterward can make sense of the process I've just been through.... 

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Diary Entry 4: Making My Mark...

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Diary Entry 4: Making My Mark...

I was walking along my favourite beach last week, taking a few days vacation, and reconnecting, with relatives and with myself.  Rest and conversation do a lot to reignite the soul.  We walked the beach and the long pier in White Rock, BC.  As we walked out on the pier I noticed this design scratched into the sand below.  But it wasn't just scratches....

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Diary Entry 3...

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Diary Entry 3...

The big painting is coming along, slowly, but still something visible emerging.  I am in a seriously contemplative place these days, and everything is tied to everything else. It all speaks and it all sends the same message....

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Diary Entry 2...

Finished this coastal sketch today... the one that was taking me away from a bigger project and helping me avoid.... not a bad way to not deal with things...

It's the Shavuot holiday so the office is closed today and tomorrow. The kids are both gone for the summer, my son studying in Israel and my daughter further east in Canada doing an internship in social work. The nest is feeling extra empty this time because I know they aren't coming back for any great length of time anymore. I was going to say they're growing up, but the truth is they've grown up. 

So the new reality has me thinking about new direction. What to do with all this Mom time no longer needed. Easier said than done. First thing today was a trip to the art supply store, my version of a candy store. It's a wonder I ever get out of there without spending hundreds of dollars.

But today I just got some charcoal pencils. They're for the large portrait/abstract painting that was leaning against the wall behind me as I painted the smaller coastal picture. It's like it was standing in line, waiting its turn, and not letting me forget it's there. The charcoal will be mixed with the paint, a rare mix of mediums for me; the right way to go for this piece, but adding further anxiety to the process. Look at it as a challenge, I tell myself, instead of a difficulty. Perspective is everything.

Last night at the Shavuot service my Rabbi was telling us that our creativity is how we most fulfill G-d's purpose for us in this world. Our personal creativity is our way of contributing to tikkun olam. No doubt he is right. For me painting is davening.

I'll need to redirect that creativity into the new painting and the new life. I have no idea what it will look like just yet, neither the painting nor the life. And not really sure where to direct all of my efforts. I do know that if I give it as much dedication as I did raising the kids, I'll be happy with wherever it is I go. And the sense of belonging will be the telltale sign that all is well.

The next painting is a turning point, and the first page of a journal recording everything that is changing. Painting is prayer, longing, finding one's way, and coming home. I am hopeful that it will both record the journey and lead the way.

 

 

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Diary Entry...

Sitting on the sofa with my daughter, feet up, legs stretched out, after a long day at the office for me, and she recovering from a long flight. We're sharing our space, because that's how she likes it.  She's loading pictures from her trip to Japan and listening to Beyoncé.  Which means I'm listening to her too.  Some of it's good, some of it I ignore. My daughter tells me that Beyoncé and sharing the sofa with me makes her feel peaceful.  Never thought I would be in such cool company. 

And I'm looking too at how a couple of paintings are coming along. One of them, a large watercolour (30x40") is abstraction mixed with the beginnings of a family portrait. It's a harder piece for me. Portraiture doesn't come naturally for me, I can do it, it just doesn't come easily and I'm not too often that interested by it, at least not my portraiture.  But that's not all that's keeping me from this one.  It's digging into family history again, and while I may feel compelled to go there, I don't necessarily feel like it that much. I'm drawn and repelled. I want to go there, and I don't. But it draws...

While I try to well up the guts to address what needs answering in that painting, I take a break and start a small (4x16") landscape.  It's coastal of course.  It's a peaceful, easy place, and the sky has a lot to say as usual. Yet it says it so minimally.  Less is more when I hear what nature has to say.  It's poetic.

Like the evening I am having with my daughter... peaceful, poetic, comfortable, beautiful.  Lots of details that may not be right in life, but there's always something perfect and lovely if I look for it. Sometimes it comes all on its own....

I'll keep writing as these two pieces progress, and as I in turn progress as well.
 

Coastal Diary 1.jpg

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