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Today is my birthday and it’s an anniversary of the first time I bought art supplies. Three years ago, after spending months looking at art journaling videos and websites and reading books, I went to the art store and bought two bags of art supplies. Acrylic paints, brushes, gesso, gel medium, pitt pens and a gorgeous blank journal.
And then I stuffed the bags under my bed and they stayed there for 5 months.
The thought of actually using those supplies and making a mistake in that journal was paralyzing. So I watched more videos, read more books and looked at more websites. Until finally, on an unusually warm day in April, the kind of day you open the windows for the first time, I took out all the supplies, covered my desk in the living room with a plastic bag, and started art journaling.
The first page was awful. And probably the second too. But something in me was opening and I kept putting paint down on the pages, collaging papers I tore out of magazines. I tried the techniques I had seen and the ideas flowed.
Spring turned to Summer. The first summer both my sons were camp counselors and I suddenly had an empty nest. No one to drive over to a friend’s house, no one to take to the mall, no one to take to sports camp or an activity. I won’t kid you – I had some good days and some bad. But I remember painting in that journal and collaging images that inspired or sparked something in me, collecting quotes and poetry. I played. I splashed paint and listened to my iPod and danced in my living room.
My husband and I had time together for some trips. We went to Boston a couple of times to see the Beach Boys and then to see Santana. We went camping with friends in the Finger Lakes and went winery hopping. We went to Cape Cod and had a few days of delicious dining and shopping in p-town. We drove around the Berkshires and went to Tanglewood to see James Taylor with good friends and a picnic supper. I was getting the hang of this empty nest thing after all.
And I kept making art. By the end of the summer the journal was full. When I looked through the book I realized I had a theme – transformation. So I collaged and painted the cover, and tied a ribbon around the spine. I loved how art had become an important part of my process of growth and change and self-discovery.
She Let Go
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
– Rev. Safire Rose
An enchanting shop – Dark Star Philosophia. I almost missed going in because I was wandering around outside taking photos. My friends made me go back later and I’m so glad I did. The shop was built around an old sea wall and the floors are granite.
A gorgeous late Autumn day in Rockport, MA.
From inside the beautiful shop Found + Made.