I'm sitting here....completely stymied. It's a new week, but yet one that was (again!) filled with terror and pain. I find myself not wanting to give any more energy to those who perpetuate hatred and anger. It is consuming. It is offensive. It surrounds us. How do we stay positive when there are many who wish us dead? How do we go about our normal daily lives, when there is a real fear and potential for not coming home alive? Or know someone who we won't get to laugh with again? Sometimes it is very difficult to not feel overwhelmed and helpless by the state of our world. And we no longer can say "oh that violence and terrorism is happening in a foreign country; I'm safe here in US", like when I was a kid. Now it's in our movie theaters, in our shopping malls, in our schools and colleges, in our grocery stores...everywhere. How can our government continue to turn a blind eye to what we've become? I'm not going to sit here and be an armchair quarterback and point fingers at one side or another, or at one race or another. The only side I'll take is the side of right and truth over evil.
Perhaps that's why I continue my fight for schooling. There's definitely something to be said for opening your mind to all possibilities and learning that you have the potential for anything. Ignorance comes in all forms. It takes guts to step outside of your boundaries. You think I'm not scared every time I'm faced with a new classroom full of students that are a third of my age? You think I'm not scared for every new critique in class, where I know my art is about to be shredded? You think I don't want to rage against co-workers who get to make mistake after mistake after mistake and nothing is done? It's hard to face your dog who suddenly doesn't have a yard anymore and he paces like a caged animal at the zoo. It flat out sucks to get down to your last two dollars and there's another week to go before payday, and you get to decide eggs or laundry? It's hard knowing a milestone birthday is right around the corner, and you get to be alone again. It's hard to live and fight and work your hardest toward goals that you want more than anything you've ever wanted in your life, especially when it seems that everything is stacked against you. There are so many times I have felt or still feel so broken, I wonder where i'm going to find the courage to get up and face another day. But despite all the stress and pressure of just trying to live...I have never once said, "I'm going to go out and kill someone and that's going to make things even or better". I will never understand that thought process. Never.
As I prefaced at the beginning, it is consuming to think of these things. It erodes our own pursuit of happiness. As more and more happens around us and impacts the safety in our world, I want to shut myself away. What does that solve? Who wins then? By giving voice to the fear that has become reality in our daily lives, are we empowering those individuals or groups whose hatred toward us has also become our norm? And by using the word "'us', meaning those on the side of positive over negative. I made a vow at the beginning of summer that I was going to be more positive regardless of what I'm faced with during my day. Positive out, positive in. And like everything else going on currently, I'm not going to let myself become sidetracked from my goals.
I found time to paint this week. And like last week where I wanted to remember the lesson of having fun with my art, I decided to explore painting on different surfaces. I had been given a wood slice that I wanted to experiment with, and I bought a couple of birch panels that I wanted to use. I unpacked all my oils and productively painted for two days straight. I found peace and that quiet space within me as I painted. And perhaps I'm not solving world peace, but if I made someone happy by sharing my art with them, then I consider that successful. I'm sharing a few process photos below. Now to let the paintings dry so I can varnish them. Some day I hope to have a dedicated room for a studio/gallery. I think that's a post for another day though. Today, I'm going to focus on walking in grace and being positive. Hope everyone has a peaceful week. Be good to yourself. Be kind to others.