Tuesday, March 16, 2010


                                            A THING OF BEAUTY IS A JOY..
                                                                                  .. until it loses its balance

In a counseling session this week, I was asked to do an exercise with a pile of books. It could have been a pile of blocks, but all we had were books.  I was to sort  them into piles,  each as if they represented different parts of my life, parts to which I give time and energy. 

My immediate reaction was to pile most of the tottering books in the middle.  This was my family, particularly focused on any child that was in trouble, specifically with out of control self-destructive behaviors.

As I looked around for more books for the other piles of my life, there were a scant few left to work with.  Next, I piled two books for my creativity, art and writing, three for my own recovery work, two or three for fun stuff, two for friendships, one for Church, etc. The carpeted floor supporting all the books, I considered as my underlying spirituality..inner life with God.

Then she asked me: how would I want it to be. My answer was, uh,..balanced.

With the evidence stacked up in front of us, showing clearly how out of balance my life had become tending family ills, I made the small beginning of a new commitment. I would make the piles more even, taking from the middle one and distributing the books, i.e. my time and energy, more evenly between my own recovery, my neglected creativity, and a few of the other other short stacks, such as friends and fun..including in that playing with my favorite playmates, the granddaughters.

During the week, a new shoot of life was quietly bursting inside me. Instead of the sluggishness of anxiety pulling like an anchor on my energy and motivation, I wanted to get going in the morning.  I realized I owed it to God and myself to move in a different direction, devoting more time to reading and practicing the recovery work, praying for myself, and exchanging all the wasted time looking for data on the internet in a frenetic search to soothe my anxiety about my children, for some actual research on my next art phase. 

Obviously, something good had died within me because now there was, for a first time in many many months, a quickening within, that was picking up energy as if oxygen was flowing more freely in my soul.

I know now I will start painting more regularly, more passionately again, and have started gathering information to start a new series.

As an excuse for not painting, I have not had access to my studio, since my dying mom, yes, she is still dying...surrounded like a holy queen bee encased in a loving hive, buzzing with the honey of worker bees, feeding and doting 24/7.  Looking at her, I recall  saints I've seen embalmed in  sunlit chapels of Sienna, smiling at eternity.  Except her legs are moving- constantly- restless with Parkinsons.  She gets more exercise than any bedridden person I know. This exercise is probably helping her circulation and keeping her healthy. Her skin still glows and once in a while, she makes a joke, or says I love u too!   When approaching a special occasion, like her 89th birthday, she asks, out of nowhere, what's the plan?

Hearing her words, inspires me, What's my plan? If Mom, at 89, can still have great expectations in her mind, it is way too soon for me to surrender His plan for me, a plan for good things, not for the evil things I have been dwelling on.

(Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. {12} Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. {13} And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.