In the past I have made the mistake of not buying art from friends because I would wait for the right one or the right price or the right time. And from this followed great regret. So I am not going to wait for the stars to align in order to bring this kind of light into my life.
Now I have a painting that is hanging in a spot that allows me to enjoy it from many corners of my house.
|From when I first walk in my front door.|
|From the place where I do my dishes|
From my living area
When I first head downstairs each morning
Here is what I have learned. Art is like love. You can go looking for it but you can't guarantee you'll find the right piece. Even if it sits on a solid foundation, how you feel about it is fleeting so you have to enjoy it in the moment. You can try to name it but when you do, words to describe it will leave you.
I believe that it is not for us to decide which moments in our lives will be memorable or will matter most. We are not the masters of our destiny in these ways. We set ourselves in love’s path and let it find us when the time is right. The times I cherish most with my children, with my husband, with my animals, with my friends, are not the ones that are designed by me. They begin as empty frames, blank canvasses, and paint brushes in clear water. The colour comes when we open our hearts to the possibility of what the world has to offer.
I imagine the artist, pulling out her brushes, perhaps cleaning up a mess her child makes in the middle of creating this work, perhaps making meals or running errands in between the strokes. Did the mail arrive mid-painting - or her in-laws? Was there a fly in the room distracting her? Which music was playing? Whatever happened that day now belongs to me (in a sense). I have a piece of those days hanging on my wall.
Each time I see it, I find myself surprised at the joy it brings. There is no question about the painting’s beauty. But the feeling I get when I see it comes when I least expect it. This kind of pleasure is quiet and unassuming. It is not demanding or judgmental. It is the kind of love we hope for from the people we choose to spend our lives with. It mirrors the moments with our children we want to lock in to and make them last forever. Those moments don’t come because we planned them. They come because we let the opportunity in. And if they are true, then they are timeless.
The way that I met my husband, some would think, is the most contrived and forced way possible. We had both recently posted profiles on an internet dating site. Many I know have had terrible luck doing this – stating it to be disheartening, a waste of time or an exercise in learning about the great number of creeps in the world. In my case, I have gained a rich and full life from this decision. I never would have guessed that an act as basic as posting a description (without a photo) on a chat site would lead to what surrounds us today. I never would have guessed I could meet a farmer there. Organic, no less. In such an inorganic fashion.
But the emails were well spaced, the meetings carefully arranged under safe circumstances, and the conclusions were left entirely unwritten. Very much like farming. You throw your work in and wait for the result to show its form. Love (and life, and art) needs us to court it gently or it suffocates.
I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. I stuck my troubled, yet hopeful heart into love’s ground and it grew.
One day this painting followed me home. Because I deliberately moved towards it, throwing away my bucketful of excuses about how it wouldn’t work out this time. It has now filled an empty part of my landscape with pure unadulterated happiness. A small choice. A world of gain.
Please do what you have to do to let love in. It is totally worth it.