Recently we’ve joked about the magic carpet on the bodega floor, though our lives are all intricately woven like tapestries. With each move – and I’ve made many, I’ve met new people that have enriched my life. Sometimes we exchange ideas and move on, grateful that Life presented us a special gift. Other times a chance meeting opens the door to a lasting friendship. Some friendships from long ago remain strong through long-distance communications. Many of my artist friends fit into that latter category.
This past month several artists have written touching and soul-bearing letters. One multi-talented artist often puts herself last as if she is not worthy of the time she devotes to her art. Over the years I’ve realized that some of the most talented artists crave honest praise the most. Praise from peers is very important and ignites a fire in an atrophied soul.
How surprised I was when a friend replied to an email with these words:
“Lord, I forget how much I miss you until we talk again, its like being caught up in a calm current of wind and sailing around in it, knowing you can’t stay up forever, but loving every minute of the experience.”
(Isn’t she a powerful writer?!) We often forget how equally-powerful a few genuine words of encouragement can be. One should never withhold a kind word. My friends write with brutal honesty because they know that I understand without judging.
“…I have tried to be the best me that I can be. But at this point its not enough, and I want to shoot up a missile or a flare something that leaves a trail that started with me. I know I need to take risks at this point, it is necessary.”
We are here to teach, we are here to learn, and we are all here to help each other along. Here’s another touching letter that arrived this week from a brilliant artist.
“I saw a great documentary about painters in NYC in the 1960s…Jasper Johns, Barnett Newman, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy W., etc. Other than Andy, the others were eloquent (marked by forceful and fluent expression) in talking about art and their art. In a way it put a distance between them and me…
“…in fact…I have felt distance with about everything. I am in need desperately of a life adventure where days sing to me and scents are everywhere…
“…where a coffee in a small place tastes full, and life has a dance to it.
“…been far too long, and when you are not out there you allow yourself to be eaten away…
“….slowly at first, then the hunger increases and you are gone.”
I have no answers for my friends; they already know what will make them happier; they’ve stated it in their letters. Obligations and commitments hold some of these brilliant artists back; others remain within the parameters of their well-defined puddle of life, though they know there’s a vast ocean out there waiting for them. One friend once thanked me for ‘giving him a shove off the fence.’
Another responded to my question, “Just how many more GOOD full moons do you have left in your life?”
If your life is a happy one, rejoice and spread your happiness with others. Why keep a candle tucked away in a dark corner? You surely realize how lucky you are to awaken with a smile in your heart! Let your happiness domino! Ask the lady at the checkout stand, “How are you?” and mean it!
If you’re not happy, do something, even if it’s wrong! You can start by picking up a pencil and scribbling away your frustrations! You might discover that the subtle act of drawing gives you comfort!
Take a timeout; turn off your telephone, turn off your television and tune into yourself! Pick up a leaf and sketch it; go outside and draw a tree trunk! Stay inside and scribble, cross hatch, draw tornadoes or triangles. After ten minutes, you’ll find a shift in attention. Don’t stop, keep drawing, and your creative side will awaken. Consider this an exercise! Your lines will get softer, more expressive, and your pulse slows!
On Thursday, several others will post images drawn in pencil! I will post two images; one drawn with my right (dominant) hand, and one drawn with my left. Drawing with my left is out of compassion to dear RUTH,who plans to discipline herself to left-hand drawing while her right is recovering in a cast! (Jots from a Small Apartment)
Consider joining us, please?!!! Sharpen that pencil and start practicing!
YOU CAN DO THIS!