I painted this in 2003 during recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That year I learned how to drive a wheel chair, use a walker, then canes, and to walk unaided again. I was reminded of this painting because my husband had to use crutches for a time after an accident. And now I am limping from a sore toe that I stubbed last week. And I know some other people facing surgeries, recovery, and interrupted plans. I am glad for tools, like this walker, to aid in times of impairment. My time of impairment helped me to have gratitude for things I had taken for granted--including blinking, walking, balance, sight, muscles that work, calm nerves, ability to eat, sleep, and use the toilet. I am grateful for recovery that happens sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. One day at a time.
This painting is from 20 years ago, yet I can still feel its relevance in my life. I'm preparing for a trip and want to wash everything, including my sneakers, and pack, yet I won't need everything, and I need clothes to wear before I go away. I can wear things now that I won't take on the trip. So timing is a challenge. When do I wash stuff and pack. And how important are what to bring and not bring? Will a shirt get too wrinkled? Is something too warm or cool? Does it look good on me? Do I have enough underwear? Socks? I have piles laid out on the spare bed as I sort through my thoughts as well as my clothing. I am overwhelmed and excited to be going away. It is also a comfort to know I will be back home again and do laundry.
Getting older is change. I hope I can age gracefully. One of my grandmothers aged to 97 years old. She lived with my family from when she was in her early 80s. Aging for her didn't always look easy, but it was also amazing to see her and hear her. I have some aches and pains that I'm guessing have to do with aging. I do some things that help me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I think I could do more. I ask God for gratitude, balance, and serenity. I don't know the couple walking in this painting. They are aging. I hope they have courage and grace.
The burned out house I posted on my blog October 20, 2017, is now in major repair. The old roof was completely taken off and this new roof was put on. The new roof is a different shape, and I think it is adding another level to the house. I see the changes each time I walk my dog by the house. Little by little it is being repaired and renovated. Sometimes I feel impatient to see how it, or a certain phase, will turn out. Wait and watch are all I can do.
Walking around Boston with my son, his wife, and his in-law family a few years ago, we enjoyed Faneuil Hall Market Place with street artists and performers, among other things. Now with a little one added to his family, all our roles have changed. Now there's Mama, Dada, Aunties, Uncles, Nanita, Abuelo, Grampy, and Grammy. I think we are adapting well, and I'm grateful for the new addition to the family and our new roles.
Moving is stressful. Not moving is stressful. This painting is from one of my last moves in about 1994. I'm not moving now, so I can imagine that sorting and packing and throwing away stuff would be a good thing. If I were moving, I may not feel that way. Stuff has accumulated because I haven't moved in a while. Stuff is such a strange problem for a small part of the world. I don't want to be a slave to my stuff. I pray for perspective and willingness to let go.
Looking ahead may look confusing. Looking behind may look similar to what is ahead. Looking around us may also seem to remind us of what we have already passed. Sometimes looking back in life can help me to accept that I have made it through so far. Sometimes it just may not make sense, yet. I aim to hang in there and wait through the various views --as in this painting. It may not make sense, but that is okay. I can find reasons for gratitude in the past, present, and future. That helps me cope and have hope. I believe God is in the past, present, and future, so I am not alone in any given place.
Change is evident in new construction. I enjoy watching new construction in process. I marvel that people working know what to do and when. There are so many phases of new construction--pilings, structures, electricity, plumbing, fire safety, windows, doors, insulation, aesthetics, and more. I believe there is a chief or boss builder who knows the details of each phase and what the final outcome will be. Do the workers that are affixing the steel girders or driving the pilings know what the final building will look like? I sometimes feel that I am in a construction process. I am changing, learning, and growing. I don't know what the finished product will look like or when it will be finished. I trust the Master Builder, who I like to call God, knows each phase and will guide the whole process.
Change can come without warning or welcome. Going through horrendous changes can be overwhelming. We can try to find gentle and helpful support from other people, lean on our faith in God even when it is challenging to do so, and take the time we need to process it. This is a burned out house near me. The houses on either side also had damage. Months passed before construction started. Now the roof is completely removed. Stacks of new wood are there, which looks like more changes to come.
I can count on change: there will be moments of quiet, moments of noise, changes in weather, seasons, people, relationships, scenery, styles, health, comfort, discomfort, size, diet, learning, entertainment, music, and art. There's more, too. I like the thought that this, too, shall pass. For me that means I can't hold onto good times, and bad times will not last forever.
LeTtiNg iT gO...BLoG
Linda T. Hurd. I don't feel like a real writer or artist, but I am both.