Thoughts are whirling around in my head as I try to adjust to the time change by going to sleep early… hence, my writing this piece when I should be in dreamland. I’m wide awake and in thinking mode. Thinking of the past, thinking of the present, thinking of the future. Thinking of my hopes for the coming week (job), thinking of the peace that my soul feels since arriving 32 days ago, thinking of the emotions that I’m feeling in a relatively short amount of time… about numerous things.
I painted today for the first time in over a year. When I used to paint frequently, all I had to do was turn on some music, allow my thoughts to roam free and a few hours later, I’d have a finished piece. Today, I was able to do that. I had no idea what I was going to do other than sit down and stare. All I had was a blank canvas and perhaps an idea or two of where I wanted to go with it. After futzing with my dad’s stereo in the basement, I somewhat figured out how to work the thing (the music played… but the sound was heavily muffled) and turned on some Apocalyptica. I didn’t realize how good their music is for painting. Within a few minutes, I had a turquoise wash over the canvas and my hands were doing all the work while my mind settled down. Painting has always allowed me to find serenity.
In thinking about my lack of artistic endeavors over the last year, I’m realizing that there was always something keeping me from peace. Whether it was the uncertainty of my finances, my unhappiness in the city I lived in, the constant battle within myself about what direction I’d like to go in relation to a career, or the questioning of whether or not the person I was with was who I’d be with forever, there was always something that kept me from breathing and knowing that everything was going to work out the way it was supposed to. I’ve always expressed myself through art and the last year granted me no inspiration. Perhaps my inspiration wasn’t there because my mind was elsewhere or because I simply wasn’t ready to stop over thinking everything. I wasn’t ready to just let things be.
The piece that I created today was a representation of my finding a way to to let go. I painted. I just painted. I tuned out my thoughts and simply focused on the present; my creation. As I sit here writing, I’m glancing at the blues, purples, greens and grays of the paint, and I’m remembering what it felt like to be thoughtless. To just be.
Tonight, I’ve said my prayers and asked God to help me let go (I was able to today… why not tomorrow, too?). I’ve prayed for some very specific things for some very specific people, myself included. Though my thoughts are running wild tonight, the painting that sits on the leather chair in my room is reminding me that they don’t have to. It’s alright to let go until tomorrow, to give the mind a rest and allow it to rejuvenate. Unless there will be some kind of outcome to the situations that are playing like short films in my head within the next 15 minutes, it’s perfectly fine for me to say “We’ll resume this when I wake up.”
And right now, I think I’ll take my own advice.