Celebrating the small things….


After shading and outlining

Peaches, Horse, Hiroshige


BEFORE shading and outlining

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”

Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Feb 12, ‘15

Despite recent hard-times, I’m grateful for all the ordinary, seemingly small things that have given me cause for rejoicing, of which there have been many.

Many of the small things are in regard to Albert, who seems to be farther away from Death’s Door than he was a week ago.  Yesterday I celebrated his return to ‘normalcy’ ‘when he showed an interest in a few objects on the coffee table and then, carefully pulled those objects to the edge of the table until they fell on the floor.  Normally, I don’t like him to do that; yesterday I celebrated.  Today I celebrate that he’s backed up to me as I sit here and write.  He’s sleeping and purring.  His belly appears to be more normal, his breathing less labored.  He’s here with me and not in his bed on the floor near the heater.  I celebrate Lasix.  I’ve come to accept he may die from a malfunctioning heart at any moment and I celebrate every comfortable, non-labored breath that he takes.

I also celebrate my dear friends, of which there are many.

For the most part, in the past few weeks, I’ve spent an hour or two a day working on my project of finishing paintings I’ve started, but never finished, in the past 10 years.  This work and the One Hour Watercolor sketches, have been good for me, heart and soul.

This morning I did some more work on this painting.  I spent approximately 2 hours doing nothing but shading and outlining.  I marvel at how adding dark makes the entire painting appear lighter.  When my time was up and I needed to take a break for lunch etc, I actually heard myself  say that I was satisfied with this painting and the work I’d done.

The changes are subtle, but, to me, well-worth the time and effort.


A dear friend has offered to ‘front’ me at a local artisan’s gallery if they accept my work. I’ve emailed these artisans and asked them to please consider my work for inclusion in their gallery.    In the doing, I feel hopeful and excited.  I’m bird-dogging my email account, waiting for a response….  I’m celebrating my feelings of hopeful and excited, no matter what they say.

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2 Responses to Celebrating the small things….

  1. beetleypete says:

    Some good news for a change, and most welcome too. Albert still enjoying life, and the possibility of a gallery showing too. Nothing like a bit of hope to blow away the dark clouds.
    The work on the painting is very good, and the changes are most noticeable.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed for more good news Gretchen.
    Best wishes as always, Pete.

  2. suej says:

    Gretchen, I hope this is the start of better things to come for you … And good that Albert has improved a little. 🙂

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