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.
(c) 2016 LTHurd
I painted this for a Christmas card a few years ago. On the cover it said "Read any good news lately?" Inside it had a verse from the Bible in Luke chapter 2: "The angel said, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people...in the town of David, a savior has been born...." I like the thought that news changes. There has been terrible news in history, as there is today. We may hear more immediate and more quantity of news, because technology helps it to travel faster. Good news is around us, too. And some news seems more like gossip, as it can expose personal stories. I can feel overwhelmed with all of it. I can hang onto my seat while news unfolds. I can pray for peace and courage to face uncertain days. I can also choose to tune out on some of it. The news will continue to come and reflect the changes going on around us.
I sometimes think of my life in terms of food phases. This painting is from the cookie phase. During this phase I tried to have cookies available for my family. There was a daily limit, which was more like an entitlement, of four cookies per day. At the time I thought it was a reasonable amount to have for my family members and me--each have four. Now that sounds extravagant. I am not making cookies now. I have entered a low sugar and low-to-no gluten phase. These food phase changes reflect to me other phases in life that also change. There have been health and job phases, and then the empty nest phase. Soon I will be in the grandmother phase.
LeTtiNg iT gO...BLoG
Linda T. Hurd. I don't feel like a real writer or artist, but I am both.