So much to do, so much to see, and so much to think about makes rest improbable. When I make a to-do list, I like to put "rest" on that list. I have fatigue issues and need to attend to them. Choices enhance or disturb rest. Scrolling through whatever on the computer late at night doesn't help my rest. Eating late is a choice for not so good rest. I want to make choices that help me find moments of rest. This painting if of my sister-in-law and my dog who were both enjoying a midday rest.
A walk in the woods along the Maine coast with one of my brothers and some other family members was such a break from my usual sights and sounds of living in the city. It was restful and refreshing. For some this may have brought on anxiety and stress. The sights and sounds, and also the uneven ground and meandering path gave me perspective and pause. We can follow our preferences for rest and find a safe and non-rigid way to refresh and reset. With pandemic safety practices, we need creativity and persistance to find some rest.
Resting together, here, are my son and his wife at a summer cottage on Cape Cod. This was before children. Babies and young children change the look of rest. For me resting near someone is challenging, because tuning out noises and movement is difficult. I am slow to fall asleep. My husband falls asleep quickly and then makes noises. Napping together can be challenging. We can, however, support each other to get rest. While many people have been staying-at-home to slow the spread of Covid-19, we may have needed extra understanding, humor, and support to be able rest (and live) in unity.
This painting was done from a photograph my sister took of her left-handed-carpenter son's injured thumb during the rennovation of her kitchen. Although delay of work was necessary, the desired outcome included his complete recovery, ability to function fully in his future carpentry work, and a completed kitchen. The kitchen got done, and it looks great. His thumb healed, and his work is still exceptional. If he had ignored the necessity to rest it, the outcomes may not have been so good.
I think we can learn some things here. Health professionals say we need to practice social distancing to stop the spread of Covid-19. The desired outcome includes health for all residents of our communities, businesses that can function well while keeping clients, staff, and customers safe, and a better functioning society for the future. We can choose to ignore it, or we can accept the delay of plans and inconvenience to wait for the best outcome.
Looking through my photos, I found several that show rest. I painted this picture of my sister resting on my other sister's couch at a lake in New Hamshire. We had gathered there for a couple of days of retreat, which we do from time to time. The change of pace was welcome. The cat and my sister found an ideal spot to rest. Yes, that is a fluffy white cat on the couch with my sister. Our pace is changed now because of Covid-19, yet I still hope to learn about rest. Rest cannot be mandated. But I can choose to rest--physically or mentally--- even for a few moments in a day.
Rest is intriguing. It is the topic I want to learn about. Here, my granddaughter is resting soundly. It is refreshing to think about a young child who is not worried about anything. She is content. She trusts that her needs will be met. She can't do much to meet her needs. She cries or vocalizes when she is uncomfortable or needs something. Jesus recognized the faith of little children and commended them and advised adults to learn from them and be like them. In the midst of uncertainty in the world, I am learning from young children. I can, yes, I need, to rest. I can snuggle into the bed and trust that my needs will be met. One day at a time.
I admit rest is not easy to illustrate, for me. I suppose a peaceful scene would promote rest, but I'm wanting other ways to show rest. Here, in this painting, we see my husband's knee as he is sitting outside at our firepit a while ago. We went out there for a fire this past week. It was restful to not listen to news and just listen to the crackle of the flames. We did not sit in idleness for rest. Rather, we poked the logs a lot, adjusting the burn. The change in noise and activity and focus gave some rest at least for a couple of hours.
Being in a exhibit can be work, but I'm joining with other artists for this one. And I'm choosing to exhibit some older work that is already framed and ready to go. I think three pieces will be in it. I don't know the other artists, but am resting in the idea that it will be fine. The event is not anything I planned or organized. I'm showing up to hang my work and showing up to attend the reception and eat light refreshments. I think I can have a grateful and restful attitude. I plan to exhibit "Wired" #1, 2, and 3.
After focusing on "Change" as my blog topic for quite a few months, I thought I would like to change the topic to "Rest." I am not sure what paintings I have that consider "rest," but I think it is a worthwhile topic. Resting may involve work. In the painting above, setting the table and lighting the candle may have been work. Then enjoying a meal with a candle can be calming and restful. Looking around, noticing, and also pausing with thoughts about what I am grateful for is restful.
Some of us have had some difficult times in the past. This house in Malden, Massachusetts, is now repaired and functional again. It took time and patience and hardwork and money to restore it. As a multifamily house, other people were also affected by this difficult time. I hope we can be willing to accept a process for recovery from difficult times. It may seem like a long way to go, but we can make the journey step by step.
LeTtiNg iT gO...BLoG
Linda T. Hurd. I don't feel like a real writer or artist, but I am both.