art of living

IMG_4856 I love to paint. I lose myself and forget time when I when I do.  I think of myself as “artsy” but my painting amounts to fits and starts.  When I’m inspired… I paint! My kitchen becomes messy, and I take over a room with canvases completely covering every surface. Oh the Joy! Then it ends. I put it all away and tidy up for “real life.” I clean all evidence of my escape out of my cuticles, hair and kitchen sink… and dream of my next painting splurge.

I need to paint more (a studio would help), but I’m learning to define art much more broadly. It’s anything and everything we do when we are fully alive and reflecting God. We are made in His image — uniquely created to reveal a bit about Him. That is art.

So I am an artist.  I’m calling just about everything I enjoy “art” these days…

Writing is like painting for me, but not as messy. I’ve written volumes. It’s also very good for my soul. When I write I learn about myself, the world, God and His will for me. But I haven’t shown anyone my writing — until now.

4th of July parade at Alligator Point
4th of July parade at Alligator Point

I’m committed to honoring art as Real Life.  To painting a bit more. To writing, but that’s not all. To growing flowers and giving stuff away. To baking and cooking and having folks over. To slowing down, observing more. To giving myself away.

To relationships. To having time when people need me. And to frivolously show up for a visit – even when they don’t. To celebrating the good times together. To encouraging or just being present with others when times are hard. To getting dirty in the messiness that life is for all of us, and not needing to look or feel perfect. To talking. To listening. To knowing and being known. To laughing and crying with others.

photo-39To taking pictures of more people — because they are the crown of all creation. To taking pictures of nature, emotion, truth, and beauty because a picture endures and invites others to enter it.

To playing because it’s fun and important. Little children live wholeheartedly, without much distraction or confusion.

To sports: sailing, running, swimming, skiing and sweating for as long as my body will allow  — because for the first time in my life, it’s very real to me that one day I might have to say, “I can’t.”

To traveling, whether across the ocean or across town. To curiosity, to asking questions and to understanding others. And to showing up, even when it’s inconvenient and the people I love live far away.

IMG_2013To thanksgiving and thanksliving — to acknowledging that all good things come from above and are His, mine to given.

When I was in 6th grade I made the grown up decision to quit art in favor of loftier academic pursuits. Not just the class, I’m afraid, but the broader Art of Living. I’m 50 now and I’m pretty sure I knew more when I was 8 than at any time since. I want to go back to being like a child, in the best of ways.

To seeing monsters in the clouds and beauty and value in bugs, wrinkles and playing. To wonder, exuberance, curiosity and innocence. My progress toward being childlike is slow, but baby steps are exciting to a child.


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