"When the World Breaks Us Open" - mixed media on Canson art board, 20" x 16". Available here and at Artfinder.
The festival tent is back in the garage and the tables are packed away. I'm back in the studio and covered in paint once more.
The stories I am hearing this week, both in person and in the news, are about being broken open. Some of them are hard to hear...people still in the throws of tumultuous change and hurting hearts. And then those who have seized the brokenness and turned it into an opportunity. A few of these fearless folk are taking a job loss and turning it into the chance to follow dreams long abandoned. The excitement in their eyes is dazzling! Others are uncomfortable in a place of vulnerability, struggling with life's twists and learning to lean in to whatever faces them.
Mark Nepo, in The One Life We're Given, advises us to see all of life in the one thing before us - to be present with devoted attention to right now. "The threshold to the secret kingdom that is everywhere, hiding in the open, is that no matter the pain or weight we carry, we're challenged to regard whatever is before us as the only thing that exists." And in being present we come alive.
Being present in the midst of brokenness means looking away from our suffering and into the eyes of the person we're listening to, the dog we're playing with or at the painting we are creating. In that moment, we are no longer separate from the world, but one with all, head and heart connected and outside of time. "Eternity is in each moment", Nepo writes, "I am no longer looking ahead. I'm no longer looking for something better to happen in the future. Instead, I try to give my all to every blade of grass..." The world is full of heroes right now - brave souls contemplating their own blades of grass. I aspire to be one of them.