I feel joy. What a concept. And it’s a feeling that visits me often these days when I paint—today it filled me as I looked at a painting that I just finished. I wasn’t sure if I was done. I brought it into a sunlit room, sat with it and there it was…free floating joy.
Ironically, I was thinking of naming the piece “Spontaneous Combustion” and with my reaction to it, it couldn’t be more spot on...
"A type of combustion that occurs by self-heating, followed by thermal runaway and finally ignition."
That’s what it’s about for me…ignition--passion.
These last weeks, I have been all about a poem by David Whyte entitled Self Portrait. While I was painting this piece, I taped this stanza from David’s poem next to me and gazed at it throughout my week(s) as I danced with this canvas:
“I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
Falling forward toward the center of your longing…”
That image--the beauty of risking, daring, feeling your passion and all the fear that goes into being in those places of intense living…that moment of falling forward~free falling, bungee jumping into your deepest desire…captures the essence of a life deciding to make it theirs without fear. A life with total commitment to authenticity.
Being AUTHENTIC—not your mother’s dream for you or your partner’s longing, a tv stereotype or the place that keeps you safest…the person you feel in your bones. The person that sings in your heart. The one that may be trapped. The one that wants to see the sunlight—be named—have an audience (of even one)—to have life breathed into the quiet darkness that may have kept that self quietly longing inside of you.
So today—I am thinking of all things authentic. Speaking directly. Feeling the sunlight. Of colors that long inside of me to marry on a canvas. Of friends who dare to declare their dreams and get on that road. Of people gently or not so gently taking a stand. As David Whyte so beautifully says:
“I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes, saying this is where I stand…”
Here’s to the beauty of the day—your day. Here’s to truth, joy & spontaneous combustion. Namaste’