Saturday, June 12, 2010

Looking for peace

What a strange week. Too many ups, too many downs, and not enough mental or emotional space to deal with it all properly.

I took the kids to Verona Beach State Park yesterday. It was a lovely day, and I couldn't face staying home. Math be d***ed, we had to get outside, and I needed to be as alone as possible. The kids and I took a picnic lunch, then they enjoyed the sun, sand and water for several hours. I spent a lot of time staring at Oneida Lake, watching the boats go round, the clouds go by, the waves lap the shore, the seagulls soar. It was very peaceful, and probably the best thing I could have done for all of us.

I even worked in a little art time - drawing a new ACEO. I just needed to keep my hands busy. But it took me almost two hours to get to a place where I could focus on drawing. Sometimes the inspiration comes easily. Sometimes it's hard work. Admittedly, the work is better (in my experience of my creativity) if it's spontaneous. Sometimes it just flows, but yesterday wasn't one of those days. Still, the little mini artwork I finished is nice enough, and it helped me to feel productive on a day when my heart just wasn't in anything.

I have some canvases staring accusingly at me - blank ones, begging for color. Maybe later today, when I have the house to myself, I'll see if playing with color results in anything worth elaborating on. My small abstract mixed-media pieces may not rise to the level of "great art," but when they turn out well, they're interesting and peaceful at the same time. Creating them brings me peace and pleasure, and I'm not looking for any deeper meaning than that. If others enjoy what I've done, I'm happy enough.

It occurred to me, after I posted the first draft of this, that I have totally failed to mention my faith's place in this. As a Christian, the hard times still come, and so do the emotional struggles - to pretend anything else would be stupid, and deceiving to those around me who may not know the Lord Jesus. The Christian life, in my experience, is not one long victory. I wouldn't have to look for peace if I didn't keep losing it. Sometimes prayer is strong and insistent, boldly approaching the Lord for some aid desperately needed. Sometimes, like this week, it is quiet and sad, looking for mercy and healing, and most of all, hope. He is still God, and I am not forgotten.

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