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Art-ing through life
How art taught me to live
We’ve all encountered things in our lives that have gone in a different direction than we had hoped or at least anticipated. It’s what makes us human – living at the mercy of whatever life throws us.
But that’s the art of life – the improvisation. That’s where we get to be creative, work with what we’ve got, and sometimes, we end up being pleasantly surprised by what amounts.
I’ve found that “sometimes” can be “all the time” in three ways: (in my opinion…)
1.) We can choose to view the “hiccip” in a certain light, seeing the glass as “half-full”
2.) We can just follow that detoured path and patiently wait, holding onto the idea that things will improve, hoping that eventually the “bigger picture” will come to light. This reminds me of a favorite quote I heard, “everything will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end”
3.) If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. We can just shrug off what we had anticipated, laugh it off, go with the flow, and surrender to the uncertainty which is neither good nor bad – just be with it and experience what is rather than what should be. (i.e. “Man plans, god laughs”)
This is what my paintbrush teaches me day after day. I love the feeling of moving around a big glob of paint on a fresh linen canvas and having no idea what to expect. Sometimes I feel like creating very exact detail…and sometimes I just want to throw some colors around on an empty space.
Painting is just a great exercise for learning how to live. Or at least, it’s a lesson I need to learn myself day after day. To have the courage to just start from somewhere – anywhere, to not judge it, and to just keep going – even if you don’t like how it is turning out.
Sometimes you have an image in mind, and you start with that idea. And sometimes you even stay with that initial idea for a bit.
But when the paint smears, or you blotch something up, or your sleeves get on the paint and smear the nice clean line you just painted – it’s a little frustrating. But then you just learn to go with it.
And with a bit of patience, and the determination to eventually see it to completion, you’ll get there.
And then sometimes, you start off painting, and you’re on a roll, you feel the adrenaline of creativity jolting through you like a fluid wash of watercolors, and then – HALT – painter’s block. You have no clue what comes next.
Or you keep painting and painting, determined to rectify the deviant path your paintbrush took, and the more you prod away at it, the worse the painting feels to you.
Then, it takes the greatest discipline in the world to step away and come back another day.
As a “Detourist”, remember – you an always come back to it another day. When life gets hard, just take a time out for self care. Take a deep breath. It’s okay to sit on the sidelines for a moment. You can always get back on. Just don’t forget that you can!
Safe travels, Detourists, and remember to take a breather every now and then!
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