This past weekend in Vegas was beautiful – after full days doing chores or hunched over the craft table, walking the dogs just past sunset served as the perfect refreshment. On one of our walks, J actually made a comment related to the natural world – that it was as if the sky had been photoshopped! Love my techie guy. He was right – overhead was the smoothest of gradients, ultramarine at the horizon seamlessly deepening to indigo up above. A peppering of bright stars and the most delicate sliver of a moon. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm!
For the past few days, I’ve been working on a mixed media cover for a journal. Here’s a detail shot.
That bead has its own story I may share at a later date!
Leading up to this project, I had been meditating on some words that would best express how I’ve been feeling lately about this brief stint we’ve got here on this earth. Folks, life be short! I mean, assuming I live a long and happy life, it’s just about half over. A lot of women bemoan the big FOUR – OH. Not me! I’m just starting to enjoy myself! In my attempt to categorize for you everything leading up to this point, all that stuff behind my big FOUR – OH, I will provide a metaphor.
At one point in my teens, I seriously considered becoming a veterinarian. So I got a job at a local animal hospital. Every morning during the hottest part of the summer, I was expected to clean the kennels…
The kennels were on the second/top floor, and air conditioning was never run through the evening hours… Can you imagine what this meant for me?
Well, I quickly learned that if I ate anything prior to performing this task, upon opening the door to the kennels, I’d be greeted by such a tremendous and foul gust of putrid odor that whatever had been ingested would immediately be regurgitated. So, no breakfast. Big lunch.
Every morning, I would shovel and wipe excrement, vomit, and urine into these two big buckets. By the time I was done, the buckets were filled to the brim. Then the challenge to which I never could adapt – how to avoid gagging while disposing of the foul waste (retelling this story is making me laugh so hard!). I’d stand over a toilet, pour the contents into the bowl, and flush. I couldn’t hold my nose because the bucket was so heavy that I had to use both hands to keep it stable. I couldn’t look away because then the contents might have spilled. I can just picture myself, squatting in front of the toilet, trying to get that crap into that dang bowl haha!
Although this responsibility literally STANK, I might have stuck with this line of work. What sent me home sobbing was having to euthanize newborn kittens or pets people just didn’t want any more. That part took me out of the game.
Sadly, that kennel duty is what comes to mind when I attempt to categorize the first half of my timeline. There was so much prolonged anger and hurt. Was it necessary, or could I have done something then to avoid it? So as I meditated on the words for this journal – originally, I had planned to cover the surface with text – I thought about hurt. In tenaciously holding onto it, what a disservice we do to ourselves!
One evening not too long ago, something happened that thoroughly pissed me off. I tried, with little success, to talk myself down. Then the dogs had to be walked. Pouting, Grumpy got the leashes, bags, and pooches and made her way out the door. Then something spectacular occurred. The sun had just gone down, overhead was the smoothest of gradients, ultramarine at the horizon seamlessly deepening to indigo up above. A peppering of bright stars and the most delicate sliver of a moon. I experienced a profound sense of how infinitesimally small I am, how infinitesimally smaller my problem was, and how in the larger scheme of things, whatever was buggin’ really didn’t matter all that much.
Now that’s not to say the issue got dropped – I’m all for resolution. But had I known about walks at dusk way back when, would I have experienced them in the way that I do now? Would I have been able to let go of the ancient behemoths of the past rusting away in the corners of my mind? Or the flaming injustices of my immediate past? My feelings on the subject went into this project. I couldn’t wait for my Prima flowers to arrive, nor could I wait for my Zutter Bind-It-All to arrive before sharing. I may leave as is.
Life is short.
My plan is to include these thoughts on the inside cover:
If regrets taint your past,
Or worries consume the future,
Let them go.
Savor this moment,
For the rest exists
Only in your mind.
Do you remember the faux granite video tutorial that I had produced awhile back which used ripped up egg cartons to achieve the effect? Cool stuff, lightweight, also a bit thick. For this piece, I did the same thing, but with a fine rice paper, nicely veined with thicker, irregular fibers.
So much fun – every time I handle my watercolors, I’m revived. I’m mesmerized by the medium – the moment brush grazes paper, life becomes incredibly simple and nothing matters beyond the project before me.
All the details are on this week’s video which you can view by clicking here.
These papers were so rich and lovely to work with!
I jokingly use this word all the time, milking the vowels while I’m feeding morsels from my plate to our dogs. But I really do love this word.