Gratitude

A week of craziness, taxing and heavy. Back in the sewing room the machine refuses to power on. Pack it up to go get fixed. Get the Featherweight out, decipher instructions for the quilt started 5 years ago, cut fabric strips and a moment or two of panic that I have been doing it wrong the whole time. This must be a day not meant for sewing.

Sometimes it is like that. Lessons in letting go: of perfectionism, of grown children and growing grandchildren, of constant meditation on insoluble problems not my own, expectations for the day. So much heartache of late, reaching out and having my hand slapped back. I am not in control here, let go, let go, let go.

Watercolors are a welcome balm. I will always come away with some satisfaction, if only in learning what doesn’t work well, it is still soothing to my heart. They always power on and if I run into a problem I can always start over, plenty more paper available, and water, and paints.

I mowed the leaves off the yard yesterday and screamed and cried and let the bouncing ride beat me back to a semblance of calmed down. “Calm down, girls!” Junelle’s voice in my head is a wonderful soother. Calm down and keep going forward. Sew, paint, return to joy and gratitude, moment by moment, each moment one at a time.

Begin again.

So much has happened since May 2014!

Two more art retreats at DDS, both with the fabulous Junelle Jacobsen, one only a week past, loads and loads of painting, sketching, classes and more classes, some sewing (but not enough), and real hard core life. Lymes disease, twice, the first time with BL Bell’s Palsy and I sincerely wish not to do that again, the second time with the bullseye rash I still sport on my inner thigh. Dear friends dying. Family problems. Keeping painting. Watercolor saves lives every day.

And that is the crux, not of the problem, but of the solution. Art for me has come to mean joy on a daily basis. It is leading me back to childhood art habits of making the same thing over and over, faces over and over, same sketches over and over, because that is how you learned as a child and it is no different now. Skills are built in the repetition. The sketches get better, the faces get better, the work is less laborious, more joyful. The inner critic stays away more and more because it gets ignored. Opinions are noted, “thank you for sharing, you may leave now.” More joy.

Fear presents itself more clearly now as the anxiety I still get about acrylics and painting with my bare hands. Just not there. I plan to try gloving and see if that works for me. Anxiety does not get to win any more than the critic, it’s just a bit harder to send on its way.

I sell small amounts of jewelry and for now that just has to do. I keep making, my brain is filled with ideas and the joy keeps flowing. Nice way to spend my golden years.