The pandemic put us into a jump-start mode for change, whether we wanted to go there or not. We were forced to isolate from one another, to stay at home and ruminate in our surroundings, and often in our own complex heads. This was particularly difficult for many, especially those who live alone, which is understandable, but I do believe we were given a gift. We were stretched, reshaped and perhaps pulled unwillingly, but we came out the other side with a new sense of who we are and perhaps most importantly, what we value most in life.
I do not say this lightly. There were stages of frustration, grief and even anger. There was a sadness that set in for many of us, and I know I wavered about many things I once perceived as important, even about subject matter I would choose to paint. I could not bring forth anything that seemed significant enough, and I still puzzle about this. I know I was processing all this change, but I have not quit jumped back to my former creative self and have come to accept that this is okay. I must say here that I know there were and still are many subjects/issues worthy of painting, but my heart wasn’t feeling it enough.
This is also happening during yet another arctic freeze, with a temperature of 17 degrees this morning, the wind chill being 2 degrees. This is Houston, Texas. My tropical plants are looking worried, or maybe that is me. I have the heat turned up to 72 but the thermometer reads 50. Not exactly the plants favorite kind of weather.
I know many of us are reminded of loved ones who have left us at this time of year as we gather during this season of light. I know Christmas lights always bring a smile to my face and have written about it many times. Right now with this chilling weather, I am reminded of why a fire is important. Gathering around the fire to warm ourselves, which is the primal place for connecting as stories were told, food was shared and the hearth became the center of a home.
I have heard it said that grief is the price we pay for love. Having lived as long as I have allows me the realization that I am willing to pay the price, because really, all we have is love.
God breaks the heart again and again and again until the heart stays open – Hazrat Inayat Khan