Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Summer of...

So I will confess to being a workaholic. If I'm pried away from my home office and studio for very long I admit, I get a little anxious thinking of everything I want to get done here. But lately a new pattern seems to be forming. Today my brother (love him) managed to get me away to join he and our mom to see the movie "Avengers". By the time the 20 minutes of previews and commercials was over, my anxiety about my to-do list was quieting down, and I was able to have a good time hanging with them and seeing an excellent, action-packed movie. I know the old adage about "all work and no play...", but sometimes I get so busy in my "artist with her nose to the grindstone, paying her dues" mindset, I forget to make some time to do things just for fun. But when I do, the payoff is that I return to my work refreshed and inspired, often with something new to bring to it.

Just to set the record straight, I love to have fun, and I do realize the importance of balance in one's life. And in the past few weeks, I've had the opportunity to enjoy a number of new adventures! In a series of firsts, I visited some new towns, walked some beautiful new nature trails, cooked some new dishes, went kayaking, and went to an amazing Korean sauna I'd never been to. Just reflecting on the past month or two, I'm putting it out there right now: This is gonna be an amazing, wonderful summer (more great firsts, please!). Professionally and personally, artistically and otherwise. I'm going to make that happen. What are you putting out there?

P.S. I promise I'll be posting projects I'm working on and sharing techniques as part of my amazing summer - stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Contagious Thing

A while back I had the pleasure of meeting and helping a beautiful elderly man. I know that sounds funny, but it is accurate because it really refers to his energy and the glow in his face. He was with a sweet lady whom I had met before and who had talked about him to me. According to her, (she was probably several years his junior) they had been long time friends and roommates, and (I suspected) that she also acted as his caretaker. Before I ever met the gentleman, she had talked about what a kind friend he had always been, and how they had been there for each other, but it was a special privilege to get to meet him myself. The first thing I noticed, of course, was his frame, stiffly curled over the walker he was using. He was practically doubled over, and had to lift his head to make eye contact. When he did, and we began to talk, I noticed a pair of stunning bright, crysophrase colored eyes dancing and opening wide with expression as he talked.

crysophrase gemstones

They made me feel that the "real" him, his youthful spirit was there inside, with the same vibrance he must have had in his youth, even though his physique did not reflect that. When he became tired, she and I helped him to her SUV. We had to go very slow, so we had time to talk more, and he told me that he was about to have his 83rd birthday. I offered my congratulations and he made a few jokes about it, then slipped into a bit of philosophy about life. He stopped to ask me how old I was, then huffed in amazement when I told him, telling me I didn't look near that old, lol. When he asked me about my work and my philosophies on life, (his mistake?) I must have gotten this faraway look in my eyes, and launched into my ideals about making the most of every single day, how thankful I was for so many things that some folks will never have or enjoy, and how much I love my work. He shook his head, telling me that what I said gave him chills, and that we all need to keep that sort of perspective on living, to get the most out of it.
It was kind of a moment, like two spirits who were polar opposites (at least externally), having a brush with understanding a little of the meaning of life, and realizing how much alike we all can be. Okay, yes, maybe a little corny, but genuine, so go with it.

Anyway, the point is that passion is totally contagious. Passion for life, passion for learning, passion for whatever makes us feel fulfilled. Any of us, when we reveal what makes our spirit sing, can inspire others to realize or just remember their own. What would the world be like if we did?