Sunday, May 29, 2016


I was so pleased yesterday: not only did I complete a painting, start to finish, but it was all mine, not driven by something I'd seen or photographed, or by someone else's artwork, but just an honest, moment to moment interaction between me and the canvas.

The feeling we shared, the painting and I, was surprisingly intense. And to be honest, it was a bit unnerving. When I was done, I went to my husband and said, "Honey? I think I may have just painted a vagina..."

"Do you even know what a vagina looks like?" he asked. "Perhaps you should let me be the judge of that?"

I won't bore you with the amusing discussion that followed, but it was dinner time, so we eventually moved on to other things, watched another episode of Frankie and Grace, stuff like that.  At the end of the evening I went back to the studio to put the cat down for the night, and, out of curiosity, I took another peek at the painting -- and realized that it was one of THOSE paintings.

Let me explain: twice before, when I've painted solely in response to the canvas and where my heart leads, current events have taken shape. Once it was a tornado in Oklahoma, and then there were those two wildfire paintings, the ones that led to our putting on a benefit.

But this one broke my heart: when I went back to look at it again, it looked like a sort of heart-shaped impression of America, surrounded by storm clouds and split down the middle. And I had to realize that this time, when my soul had a chance to speak, it declared that my heart is breaking for my divided country.

It probably won't affect others this way, but I felt a huge welling up of emotion when I looked at it, sort of a "Jesus wept" kind of feeling: deep sadness for all the pain and anger I've been seeing.

So I told my husband it wasn't a vagina after all. Of course he had to go look, and when he came back he laughed. "That is NOT a vagina!" he said. "Actually it kinda reminds me of Yosemite..."

We all see what we care most about, I guess. But now it's official; I am broken-hearted over what's going on in my country. And I have no idea how to fix it.

It's at times like this that I'm grateful to be a person of faith. I'm hoping God can fix this. Because I sure can't.

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