At the moment, there is a pile of dogs at my feet. They are sharing a bone--each chewing on an end in a Zen-like snuggle. For real, where did I find such generous, gorgeous beings? So much love seems absurd and, yet, there they are laying on the floor next to me. I like the little sounds they make. They make my world feel grounded and real and complete.
Earlier today, while on our morning walk, I turned left where I normally turn right. The path took us into the woods, a place where I rarely go since adopting 2 more dogs (after all, walking 3 dogs takes considerable concentration). It felt good. Actually, it felt more than good. Having been a long time since my last visit to that wild part of the world, it felt new and unexplored. Down a trail deeper in the park, we came across enormous oak trees that had fallen in a storm and were being cut up. A bramble of fallen logs and dead fall--the spongy wet smell of freshly sawed wood was intoxicating to the dogs and myself, alike. So intoxicating that I went flying and stubbed my flip-flopped toe good. The result was bright red blood and the most concerned look from my babe, Ella, that I've ever seen. Happiness was tested: felt more love than hurt and reveled at the loveliness of the morning, despite my newly acquired hobble.
I sit here drinking a cup of freshly brewed Columbian coffee--oh, such a dusty, sweet, earthy flavor (yum!)--getting ready to take on another day. Yesterday I started a new series of paintings that feel delicious and different. I am working on sponsorship packages to pay for several thousand dollars of marketing and event costs for an upcoming exhibition. I am feeling audacious. I am feeling hopeful. I am feeling like I have something to give in return.
Finally, once again, I fit my own skin.
Who knew that these past several months would mess me up so thoroughly? Who knew it would take so long to get from one side to the other? Granted, I'm not expecting life to get "easy." After all, like usual, I've bitten off almost more than I can chew. But something tells me that I'm headed in the right direction.
There are two phrases that keep repeating themselves in my head. The first are Obama's words: "The audacity of hope." The second is: "Never give up."
Here's the deal: There is nothing about my situation that is deserving of audacity or hope. There is nothing about my situation that guarantees that persistence will ever get me anywhere. I'm broke. My bank account is dangerously close to $0. The economy is in shambles. I work out of a studio in my basement. I have no idea if anything I ever do will ever amount to anything.
And YET...I feel HOPE. There is a sense of fearlessness that outweighs my fears--maybe just barely, but barely is just enough. Bare amounts of fearlessness is enough to push past the discomfort. It is just enough to instigate bravery. It amazes me how easy it is to slip into complacency. It's easier to simply do whatever is on the to-do list than it is to stretch beyond our own self-made boxes. But that is where hope lives. It lives in the what's-just-outside-of-what-we-already-know.
Anyway, these days I am striving to paint things in ways that I am inspired to paint them. I am inspired by 6 foot paintings and 6 inch paintings. I am reawakened by the extremes and comforted by the soft breeze that blows through an open window. I am inspired by my friends. I am inspired by what I do not yet know.
Life is moving on. Sometimes the turn-around time just takes patience.
Message for the day: NEVER GIVE UP.