This post is not really about art, but I felt the need to share pieces of my life that feed the undercurrent for my work.
This weekend I had to face the fact that our lives are fleeting and temporary. I spent time with a family member who has stage four cancer. She told me she just hopes for more time. That statement keeps haunting me as I sit here and perseverate on all that happened in the last few days. It got me thinking about what matters in life and what really counts in the long run.
Over the last few years, my husband and I have had a lot of conversations and made a lot of changes. We live a quiet life in the country and try to keep things simple. We bought an old farmhouse and have spent the last five years renovating. We keep a garden in the summer and try to provide as much of our own food as we can. We reduce, reuse, and recycle every day. We help each other make time for our passions; art for me and music for him. We work hard to make the focus of our lives spending time with people we love, and doing the things that bring us joy.
We started making these changes as we became more and more disillusioned about what was going on around us. Our society spends too much time being consumers and worrying about having shiny cars and big houses. We want to look like models and live like celebrities. And if that isn't enough, there is no focus on the here and now. Just when you get something accomplished in your life, people are asking you about your next move. You graduate college, it's when are you going to get a job. You find the "right" person, it's when are you going to get married, buy a home, have children, and retire. And god forbid you don't have a five year plan and a desire to climb the corporate ladder.
I'll be the first to admit that these things all used to have meaning for me. I thought that was what we were supposed to strive towards. As I grew into myself more and more, I realized it was not what I wanted.
Even with all the changes my husband and I have made in our lives, it still give me pause to hear those simple words; I just want more time. With as much as I think about making this life count, I still have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy all the little things that make up my day.
I have to put tasks out of my mind and enjoy watching my daughter play and walk across the room for the first time.
I have to put my day job out of my mind when I get home so that I can enjoy my family.
I have to shut off the television and make my way to the studio and pick up a brayer and some ink.
I have to put my need to "produce" work out of my mind and just truly enjoy the act of creating.
So the gift from this incredibly emotional weekend is a lesson; Enjoy each moment in time because it may be your last. Savor it, live it, and love it. Do what really matters.