I haven't posted for a while. Feeling like there's not much to share. Maybe it really is just a lack of motivation. Like I've said it all and photographed it all. I get in these types of slumps every now and then. My days have been simple, full, and content, though.
I've been drawing and painting like crazy. Keeping up with homework assignments in my online art courses; sketching just because I want to. Spending a day at the University last week sketching animals at the natural history museum. Fighting the voice inside my head that tells me "Animals are too hard. I just don't draw animals..." But it's just seeing and drawing shapes like anything else, I remind myself. Practice, practice, practice. This new skill is a PRACTICE. My family thought it was fun that I spent a morning drawing Isaac's toy dinosaurs. (ha!) I spent hours last Saturday sketching and painting a view of my kitchen. (i.e. sore bum.) Such a good exercise in really seeing, sketching at a much slower pace (a real challenge for me. My natural energy and tendency is fast, fast, fast.), and not calling it quits until the drawing is DONE. It was an overwhelming project, but I found that once I got going, it became a form of meditation. In the zen mode. The time, surprisingly, was really enjoyable and the time seemed to go by really fast. For the last two weeks, I've been really interested (and a little obsessed) in finding, referencing,and drawing from vintage tintype portraits of men. I think next week I'd like to raid my parents' house for some old photos of my ancestors and start sketching them. I have a strong push to start this new and meaningful project.
I've wandered around a local exhibit showcasing the art of Norman Rockwell two times now. I met Gary while at the University and took him to lunch. Looked at his beaming smile and beautiful eyes as he told me all about a class project he is loving. Took Isaac on Saturday for some good Mexican eats and to the dollar theater to see the Peanuts movie. Celebrated Preston's birthday with the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted (Jane's baking blows my mind.) Seeing these two adoring each other like they do makes me believe that true love, devoted love given and reciprocated between two people really is possible. I'm just so grateful for the close relationship I share with each of these kids. For Keith's never ending kindness, compassion, and goodness.
Happy to have Fridays to focus on hand- written letters and cards. Hand delivering some of the cards with some surprise cupcake deliveries to some of my neighbors brought light and a lift to my own heart.
The other day as I was almost to the end of Sharon Salzberg's book Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, I happened to wander over to her website and was so excited to discover her Real Happiness 28 Day meditation challenge. Close to 12,000 people around the world are participating and I'm so happy to join them just a day after it began.
I'm noticing something about myself since I've immersed myself in drawing: (and I think my meditation and mindfulness practice has something to do with it, as well.) Not only am I seeing objects more deeply, but my awareness of others has expanded in ways that I find truly meaningful. Last Friday evening while Keith and I were waiting to be seated at a restaurant, I noticed a little boy standing nearby us with his family. Instead of just glancing at him or "looking through him", I found myself truly SEEING him. Deeply aware of his purity and beauty and goodness. Tears filled my eyes for the overwhelming love I felt for him. This moment was fleeting, but very powerful to me... enough to share (tears again) with Keith as we sat and ate our meal.
Yesterday, another similar experience: I was on my way to Costco and pausing at the stop light, I noticed an older homeless man approaching with his bundles. Something came over me and I really looked at him; something different and poignant this day, especially, as I often notice homeless individuals around town. Again, like the experience I had with that little boy at Chuck-A-Rama, I felt so much love for this stranger. My heart was overflowing with love and compassion. Again, tears overflowing. The experience left my mind (the impact still felt in my heart.), and as I again pulled up to the stoplight, there he was again. I quickly remembered that I had just bought a box of granola bars for the kids' lunches and also happened to have a case of water bottles in the back of my car that I had previously purchased the week before, but was too lazy to bring in. I quickly turned into the bank parking lot and gathered what I could give to the man. Desiring with all my heart to give him everything I had to somehow share this love I felt for him. I pulled up and he quickly approached the car. A sweet smile and a "have a nice day" was his simple offering to me.
This drawing I am doing, I am seeing, is not just about putting pencil to paper. Not just a hobby or talent I am expressing and growing for my own benefit or to "make pretty art". Feeling and hearing a quiet spirit- to- spirit whispering that God is once again trying to use this new tool to pry open these eyes to see, melt this heart to soften and expand.
To compassion, to love, to joy.
Hi, I'm Emily!
I welcome and thank you for visiting. Through this blog, I invite you, friends or strangers, to come and abide with me as I open my heart and home to you in understanding, honesty, discovery, and reflection. It is my hope that you will join me in my quest for a simple, joyful, meaningful life.