Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chipped Polish

Portobello Road
Everything evolves and there is a new manicure option available now called shellac.  I haven't tried it as it is a bear to get off.  It is a thick coating that is supposed to last longer and strengthen your nails by covering them with an 'invincible' coating. Doesn't make them appear longer, though.  Just think of it as a protective coating.

For years, as we grow and evolve into the person we will become, we develop our own veneer of sorts.  Some are so thick that you could knock and hear an echo inside.  Others are pretty thin - what you see is what you get.  Now, on occasion, that might come across as abrasive but so be it.  Others in their proximity just need to add a layer to their own coating to interact with them.

If they really want to.

Decades of experiences help us build and strengthen our outer persona.  If we are fortunate, we are guided by those who have been there before.  We grow.  We evolve.  We polish the surface.  Some facets of ourselves we embrace and revel in (quietly lest we be perceived as braggarts), others we abhor and hide.  We chip away at the edges in order to form a more perfect person.  This goes on for pretty much all our lives.  From pre-toddler to old age, we are encouraged to be the best we can be. 

The factors which influence this process come from family, friends, our intellectual environment and that person we saw on the train yesterday who was a perfect example of who we don't want to be. We devise our own views of how our world should be and then our viewpoint communicates with that of others and we all grow.  We evolve.  Amazing.

Will an isolated person grow into a person who can relate to the social butterfly?  Can a thoughtful one enjoy the vagaries of a spontaneous thrill seeker?  How do our differences enhance each other? A lot depends on who we pull into our embrace. Even more depends on what we do with the knowledge we gain from them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Perspective in Creation

Toulouse, France
Recently I read a post on A Certain Simplicity where Diana questioned the challenge of change and the driving force behind it.  Whether creative or situational, change is fraught with dips and valleys and can just as suddenly soar you over the top of known experience.  It got me to thinking about it from my perspective.

It is our creative self which strives for more and that won't change as long as we live and think. If Michelangelo was not driven to improve his creations, painting and sculpting again and again, chasing the elusive perfection he craved, would he have grown? Would he have been happier sitting back and contemplating what was done, looking no further? When he took pause, what were his thoughts? Reflection or progression? What of the others? Our creative inner workings build on what we do now and what we did in the past and we have an opportunity to savor the process. That doesn't stop our minds from looking at things from different angles, imagining subtle adjustments which will be filed for future use. It is the foundation for our discontent with things as they are. We are c-r-e-a-t-i-v-e. This is what we live for. It comes with the territory.

In some matters, yes, good is good enough. The glaze may be a little off but it gives us food for thought for next time. Imperfections and repairs may be obvious to others (we imagine) but are in fact virtually invisible in the scheme of things. They are what gives our lives character. A little roughness in our physical surroundings hurts no one and allows us a place to rest without feeling uptight. I love to garden. In the past ten years, I have learned that perfection has no place in a garden. Now I carry that inside and know that, while I 'should' paint that wall and 'should' fix the trim, it doesn't change the pleasures wrought within these walls. The same goes for my art. As Diana so aptly put it, I can relax. My mind whirs with ideas and I would be so grateful if I could pursue even a small portion of the projects in my mind's stash.  Regrettably, I don't have a patron to foot the bills. I pick my battles, let go and enjoy what is. It doesn't quiet my mind, but it gives me more pleasure in the process.

And isn't the process of living what matters most?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Metaphorically Speaking...

I have always felt that I have a pretty busy life filled with things that need to be completed, concerns which tax my heart and a wish list of pleasures which rumble around in my head unfulfilled.  There is some truth to that.  A really busy life, though?  Perhaps it is more a busy mind which wants to do more in a day that has just so many hours.

There is also the energy aspect.  I do not have the stamina I used to have.  I can remember days filled to the brim with activity and stimulation.  Now some of that stimulation just plain wears me out!  Doesn’t mean I stop craving it, it just means I need it in smaller doses so I can savor the experience.  One thing at a time is better for me now.

A milestone year approaches unlike any other.  My feet are nearing the edge of a precarious cliff.  The flower-strewn meadow is behind me. Blades of bright green grass bend under my feet and I can feel their coolness between my toes.  I like it.  I want to stay in the meadow a bit longer so I sit down away from the edge and plant some flowers.

My seeds need good, rich soil to germinate.  There is no room for toxicity in my meadow and I haul away that which taints my ground.  As I turn toward the path from whence I came, I can see dull brown patches amongst the fragrant blooms.  All but a few trees are strong and sturdy which pleases me.  Only a small number have broken branches or decaying trunks and I acknowledge them with thanks for what they have taught me. 

As my eyes travel across the panorama, flowers of every hue fill my vision and crowd out the patches of dry earth.  A soft breeze ruffles my hair. There is so much more good in the world than bad.  I feel that my focus now is to stimulate a healthy ground and try not to over plant.