What If Today…You Were an Artist?

“The act of painting is about one heart telling another heart where he found salvation.” Francisco Goya

“So, I’ve decided I’m going to be an artist,” I said to my boss as we both jumped out of our cars in the parking lot. I’d come to that conclusion in the wee hours of the morning yesterday as I contemplated how to make money while staying at home – something that has suddenly become a real probability. I’ve never tried to sell my artwork and in order for me to make the transition I needed to “become” an artist. Do you know what I mean? It just means spending the time that I’m not working outside the home, focused on what I do best – drawing.

Those thoughts and intentions brought me to a very happy place. I’m an artist at heart. I think it’s just my perspective on life and how I show up.

“Yes!” she almost yelled. “And we’ll use my basement. We’ll transform it into a studio.” I couldn’t stop her. I just smiled. “Do you know that’s all I want to do with my life, but I work to make everyone else’s life go smoothly? Do you know how many art projects I have going on in my basement?” she asked as if I should know while passing me two small bags of next organic chocolate covered cashews and apricots.

“Is this breakfast?” I asked laughing.

“Yes. Eat them. I’ve eaten half of them. You have to eat the rest. They’re yours.” Then she passed me a bottle of water. “Drink it. You have to stay hydrated or you’ll faint.”

She went on and on and on (I think it was the chocolate) about her connections in New York and how we could make things here and send them there and make oodles of money. Honestly, I think we’d just have fun in her basement laughing, dreaming, creating and eating organic food!

My boss is a problem solver. She can listen to a rant, find where she agrees , and propose a solution very quickly, stopping anyone dead in their tracks as they try to pull her down a road of doom and gloom. She leaves people with mud in their hands, encouraging them to make something beautiful with it.

I like people like that. They are artists.

They see the truth about where things are at in the world and choose to create new spaces out of what others see as hopeless.

Are you like that?

Do you find the joy, beauty and possibility in rainy, overcast days, chronic illness, overwhelming financial loss, and unexpected turns in your life? It takes me a while, but that’s where my heart always leads me.

I’ll never forget my 3rd daughter’s first birthday. It had been a long winter in Maine (where we’d been living for a couple of years) and we had severe cabin fever. The temperature reached 70 degrees, which was extremely unusual for March. There was still snow on the ground, but  there was also a muddy river forming in our driveway by mid-day.

I opened the front door and let the kids out to play. They tentatively made their way down the front steps to the driveway, hopping over patches of snow. The baby was the fastest. She didn’t hesitate to jump into the muddy stream, covering herself from head to toe while her brother and sister squealed with delight watching her. She made everything fun!

The water was frigid and she lost her socks and eventually her diaper in it. Her brother was so concerned about “crabs in there” ! But she just kept playing. We laughed and clapped and watched her in her muddy playground. I don’t think there is a more vivid memory that my two oldest children have of being joyful in the moment than that day. It was all we had. And it was wonderful!

That experience taught me a lot about how to use what appears to be a setback or problem and changing it to an opportunity.

I think that’s the biggest trial of this life – finding the place where you feel rejuvenated for one more minute, and then watching that minute build upon itself, lifting you up to solid ground again….and returning to that place often…

…each time with more friends to share the newly found joy.

It means offering a new perspective that brings peace, happiness, fun, laughter, and possibility for healing, first for yourself, and then for another soul.

That’s what being an artist means to me. It’s not just the landscapes in pen and ink, or the faces on potatoes, or the choreographed dance.

It’s about the new and beautiful places it all takes us in our minds and hearts.

Right? ! 🙂

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