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Just Listen

Late night post, one of those days when I over schedule myself. I always think I can do more than time allows for.  Alas, as always neglecting to put myself first, and again not making art a priority. I think I’m producing good work these days, but I also think that I could produce better work if I gave it the time. It seems to me that too many of us feel guilty when we give to ourselves. What a difference we could all make in our own lives if we  allowed ourselves the time to be quiet and find what it is we love. The noise and obligation of every day life drowns out our inner voices. Have you ever tried to hear yours? I wake nearly every day to a promise that today will be the day where I make that time for me, and every time I make that promise I break it. I am the kind of person who is good for their word. If I say that I will do something then it gets done even if I don’t feel like it. Not for myself.  Do you make the New Year’s list? The list of all the ways you will be better? My life is that list. A trail of paper lists and empty notebooks. It really is my last hurdle. Lately I’ve been cleaning out boxes of paper. So many hours lost tearing out ideas for projects, paintings, or just stuff to read. The collecting became the project. Not that I didn’t do a few. There always needs to be something to justify what I’m doing, a promise of something on the road ahead is better than the thought of an empty life, so every now and then I would look through the boxes and do something. Mostly I just reorganized the paper. I’m done with that. Maybe it’s time to stop making promises before time runs out. I did however notice that the piles of papers to read had a recurring theme, self-esteem. (The O magazine in particular, it’s like the self-help bible) I had an epiphany of sorts today. As I was looking through the papers I realized that I no longer want or need to read those self-esteem articles. This project has done incredible things for me. I’m not all the way home where my self-esteem is concerned, but following through on this one promise to myself has made a difference, it has introduced me to some confidence in my artistic life, something I never thought I’d have. I just realized that maybe I had my quiet moment and it led me here.

Tonight a Hollyhock in watercolor on paper. I love Hollyhocks, they apparently do not like me. I planted some three years ago in my garden. They lived for a few months and were gone. I was very upset that they didn’t return the next Spring. They did return, but not for me. They have been lurking on the other side of the fence. The side where a neighbor who does not care lives. For the entire summer there have been two dead stalks of something that tower over the fence. How does she not see them? Why doesn’t she cut them down? Why are they bothering me so much? And then it shows its face, the Hollyhock, my Hollyhock (I know she didn’t plant them), tangled up with the dead stalks, peering over my fence, taunting me. Betrayed by a garden flower.


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