It’s Saturday, my favourite day. It was sunny but the clouds have come. I am enveloped in grey – perfect for having regrets and disappointments. How do I draw or paint it though? These days I am caught up in a whirlwind of emotions of excitement of discovery and melancholia of vulnerability and impermance. There are things I have absolutely no control of. We talk of acceptance but it is no easy to come by.
I am regretting that I did not go for my Saturday morning swim. It’s the only time that I am most guaranteed a lane of my own. It’s my zen moment of the week. Why didn’t I go? My body cried for not-going- anywhere time. It yearned for time to laze in the morning sun, perhaps to read a few pages, to sketch at leisure. I had to choose. Sometimes my mind is in a frenzy of choices. So. I. Just. Stayed. Put.
Regret and disappointments are human traits. We have that ability to cast our eyes and minds back, regretting and feeling disappointed with ourselves, others and choices. It’s hard to stop yourself. My different today is recognizing that and accepting. It’s okay to regret and feel disappointed but Don’t. Just. Stay. There. Go forth. What was it that I wanted the time for instead of swimming?
My morning sketch at leisure. Reading a few pages. Being here in this moment, tap, tapping out a few words. It’s been difficult to show up. The game is if I fall, wander off the path, to come back again and again to this – my life, words, and loves.
These days, it’s hard to bring out the paint and the words. Things do not flow but I still stutter, dab and poke along. A sentence is strung. A picture evolves. Some seeds are planted and some are ordered. I have learned to love this process of eking, drip dropping. I am not at a standstill. I am making progress like the tortoise. There is no need to rush. The finish line will come soon enough.
I am learning to reframe, review and widen my lens in this year of doing different. It’s so easy to fall back into easy and same olds. It’s equally easy to do a different thing. It’s easy to do the same in a different way. The hard part is being mindful and staying the course. The thing to remember is we are all the same. We all struggle. No one is perfect. We all fall off the path. It’s the falling that wakes us. It’s an opportunity to learn and change.
I’ve been obsessed with making art this past year, starting with a 100 day challenge of making art every day. Here’s my day 1. I went the whole 100 days, making little arts and then bigger ones. A year later, I’m taking some online classes. They have helped immensely. Now I can talk the talk and walk the walk. I’ve been just talking about my passion for 30 years or so.
Whatever I learn from making art, gardening and whatever…all help to make a better me. Making, doing different keeps us from falling asleep at the wheel. It energizes and motivates me. I learn to see with different eyes, listen with different ears and speak with different softer words. Here’s some of my wonky creations with left hand and sometimes with eyes closed.
From doing different, I am different – capable of making wonky art.
A few days have lapsed since day 2002. My needs are still the same. I am still a clutterbug. The difference is I feel empowered. No longer quite as helpless. No longer a victim. I can help myself. I can work my way out of a wet paper bag if need to. I am learning and progressing in my year of doing different.
Sometimes you just have to stare fear right in the eye. It’s better than being trapped in helplessness, shaking like a leaf in the wind. Some things you cannot change or avoid. That’s all there is to it. You might as well face the music and do the things you most dread – taking/being responsible. You might find it the most freeing thing. The shackles open and fall off. You can move, think and have a plan of action. You find yourself smiling and feeling pliant, moving to your heart’s demands.
On days like these, the sun is always shining. Life is clear as crystal. You can see and feel through all sides of your life. You feel blessed and wondered why you have fought against all of this so hard. This moment is so peaceful. You see all the smiles and kindness bestowed without asking.
It is fleeting. You accept it, knowing it will come again and again. It is the nature of the universe. Our days on earth are short and breathtakingly beautiful as well as painful. Storm clouds gather at the horizon. But there’s always a silver lining. Look for it.