Another hot and stuffy day and it’s only 10:30 am. I’ve been at work in my summer studio for a few hours and feel as if the best thing I’ve done so far is to have Shown Up. I’m just not into it, today.
It is nice, however, to sit here and look out – across the yard at my garden and up into the sky for any cloud or bird action taking place there. It’s relatively cool-ish here in the garage as it’s under trees and I’m well under the overhang. I’m within range of the wireless router in my house, so am enjoying the cool & quiet and going online for a variety of purposes – paying bills, satisfying curiosity, checking in with friends on Facebook….
I’m listening to the Dalai Lama chanting — Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. I listen to this often and find it most soothing as well as centering. I used to play it at the beginning of a watercolor class I taught a few years ago. I’d keep the volume quite low; at first no one would notice that it was playing. Soon after we’d all settled down to work and became quiet, the vibes became more and more clear until we were so quiet it then became pervasive to all ears throughout the room. When the chant was over, there would be a collective deep sigh, as we came back into the Now and all shared experience of a sense of being connected to the universe & each other, refreshed — body, mind and spirit.
(Dalai Lama Mantra available on Youtube)
I’ve been sporadically working on a small painting this morning that I began in 1991, when I lived in another town. The most I can articulate about the problem I’m having with this painting is that I’m so far unable to get it to a place where I have a feeling about what I’ve done as I had a feeling about why I wanted to do this painting on that long-ago day when I took the time & made the effort to capture this scene in the 1st place.
Today, at the same location, all one can see are the many houses that comprise a housing development where there used to be open land with cattle grazing in pastures next to hayfields and cornfields. That morning in 1990, I felt as if I could hear the clouds, as if they were indeed hot-air balloons. I grew up in a rural community in NWCT. My dad kept a small flock of chickens. The road in this painting is the road he took to go to the farm up ahead where a local farmer stored grain that he sold to small-time chicken or cattle farmers such as my dad. I suppose we could call it a co-op. My dad bought all his chickenfeed from this man. The 2 hills shown in this painting were the first 2 hills of 5 more to follow – a series of ‘thank-you maam’s’ which gave us kids a thrill when my dad drove in such a way that we felt a swooping feeling in our stomachs when we reached the top and then headed down the other side. Today, the roads have been improved to such a degree that the thrill of the ‘thank-you maam’s’ is a thing of the past as well as the open fields and the farm shown in this painting.