Friday, April 21, 2017

What I do when my heart feels heavy

hello Munchkins.
The world feels so angry right now, doesn't it?
At least it does to me.
It seems there's a shooting or a bombing
or a hate crime happening 
somewhere in the world every minute.
It saddens me that we haven't yet learned
to live with each other
without killing one another.
I try not to let all the heaviness get to me,
but man, it's hard sometimes.
I haven't painted much lately
but the little bit I've done seems to have
set my heart in its place again.
It's a strange thing (and hard to describe to a NON artist)
but whenever I feel the weight of the world
on my shoulders,
it lingers as an uneasy, unsettled feeling
until I sit myself down and make art.
Or write something.
Especially poetry.
Only then do I begin to feel grounded again,
as though I am part of something grand,
even if it feels like chaos sometimes.
Years ago, when I was a young teenager,
I was sitting in a park one day,
looking at the trees,
and thinking about how we came to call them TREES.
They had no name, really.
They were part of the landscape around me
and until we categorized them as TREE,
they basically just existed.
I tried to look at the tree
with fresh eyes -
to think about how we shared the air
and the space and the same existence,
at this particular point in time.
Without knowing it,
I was living in the moment.

For a few seconds,
I was ONE with the universe.

(...and, I've lost 10 readers.)

Hear me out.

Once in a while during the day,
something happens to remind me
that THIS moment
is the only one that really counts.
We focus so much on tomorrows
and on yesterdays
and on what ifs
and on should haves
that we lose sight of what we have,
right here, right now.
Of course I know it's difficult
to be with the 'here and now'.
Life happens.
We need groceries, so we need 
to plan meals.

We need to work to pay the bills,
we need to prepare certain things in advance,
otherwise, they won't get done on time.
We're taking care of kids
and taking care of aging parents
and paying the mortgage or rent
and feeding the dog
and dealing with our own demons.

Being in the moment works
if you're a guru
or a yoga master
or a monk in a monastery. 

Not so easy if you're a single mom
or if you have terminal cancer
or if you're holding down 2 jobs
to pay the bills.
But the funny thing is,
being in the moment
only requires a MOMENT.
I go through my day like everyone else.
Sometimes rushed,
sometimes angry,
sometimes calm,
sometimes curious,
sometimes happy,
sometimes sad.
But those magic moments can happen

In line at the grocery store.

Hanging clothes out on the line (yes, i do this and love it).

Driving the car to pick up my son.

Hearing a beautiful song on the radio.

So many moments in the day
have the potential
to be magic.

We just need to learn to tune in.

Sometimes, when I skip yoga,
I at least find the time
to sit myself down on the couch and breathe deeply.

3 deep breaths, in and out,
and I think
about the magic of lungs,
and the heart,
and the brain,
and good intentions,
and the energy of ALL living things
(including trees)
and of the power of love.
Poetry, music, art.
The stabilizing forces 
when all else seems to fall apart.

Before I did this piece (below),
I had a knot in my chest.

Sometimes, we just need to get it out, don't we?

This works for me.
And just after this, I felt more grounded again.
Until the next frustrating feeling comes along.
Which I'll just paint again. ;)

I'm convinced that if more people learned
to write and paint their frustrations,
there would be far less hate in this world.

Or at least it would all be on paper
and not as bullets to the chest.



  1. Just gorgeous art with interesting thoughts.
    Happy PPF and weekend xx

  2. I am with you sister, all the way! I will share this post with my three grown children. Thank you so much for taking the time "to write it down". Happy PPF

  3. YES! You have written what I am feeling and thinking! When my mother lost my father she said she would continue to live but there would be no more joy in her life - a self fulfilling prophesy. The world is so frightening at the moment but fear is such a low level vibration - I look for and find joy in the little things, when I remember - the robins that have returned, the buds on the trees, the crows that call for their breakfast, my beautiful cats, a phone call from my daughter. There is comfort in my painting and drawing though it is so often a challenge for me to paint or draw and I still haven't figured out why. Life is lived in the moment - this I know to be true if only I could remember that more often - thank goodness for yoga! Your musings almost always echo my own - thank you!

  4. Yes I agree with you about our world. Yes I agree that art grounds us, brings us to a place of peace. I very much enjoyed your post and all the art.

  5. Powerful art and words as always! A great reminder to take moment at a time, one hour at a time...Focus on all the good moments so the bad one get pushed to the back of the line!!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. Again, so much truth and wisdom !! You need to publish a book , my friend !!

  7. I found you by way of a link from Giggle's blog and I'm very glad I did. What a fantastic post and it resonated with me so much. It's so very hard not to be affected by all that goes on in the world. The day Trump became President I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of foreboding and sadness - I was on the verge of tears the whole day because I felt so disillusioned that despite everything abhorrent that he represents enough people agreed with him to give him access to the nuclear codes. It saddened me that people now are voting based on their fears and ignorance of other people - we've learnt nothing from the two world wars we've already had. I am one of life's empaths and I have to work really hard not to absorb the negative emotions of other people (especially animals as that's where my passion lies with the horrible ways we treat them) I find that art is my escape from the realities of the world, I use it to find my happy place away from the doom and gloom and I agree, poetry has always been the best way for expression - I wish more people would contemplate their navel instead of just hating anything they think is too different. Sorry for the essay but you've got a new follower!!

  8. Love your post. Your art is wonderful, and your thoughts are straight to the point. The world is a dark place at the moment, full of bad news reports and so much crime. It is difficult to handle at times, but if one can live in the moment it really does make such a difference. It's not always easy though. One can only do one's best.

  9. Beautiful commentary. I'm glad I came over to this posting from Sherrie's blog (Giggles).