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.
Here are four photos of a painting in process. During the process, I have to pause often to allow watercolors to dry. I also have feelings to process, like doubt. This picture is from an article in the Boston Globe Newspaper (May 19, 2017--photographer Globe staff, Jonathan Wiggs). I have been painting on the theme of hair. I have been thinking about the idea that we cannot judge a person by their hair. What my "hair" pictures end up as is also a process. I try to enjoy the process and accept the changes as they come.
Change is more noticable right now. I am now a grandmother and married to a grandfather; my son and daughter-in-law are parents; my other son and daughter-in-law are uncle and aunt; and, I turned 60 years old. There are more changes, too, that I won't mention here. It is an exciting time and amazing in many ways. I am also aware of feeling some stress. Living a day at a time is good for me to remember. It is awesome to we aware of what I have to be grateful for. Painting my grand baby and his mom was a pleasure.
I am happy to enjoy warmer days and color. For a long time it has been cold temperatures and mostly dull greys. I am also aware that pollen, heat, dirt, yard work, and noise through open windows will be part of what comes with spring. I am still grateful for this change. I want to acknowledge that I feel negatives and positives in many changes that happen.
LeTtiNg iT gO...BLoG
Linda T. Hurd. I don't feel like a real writer or artist, but I am both.