Containing the craziness

This one started out horizontal, with the hand on top, but it seems to work better as a vertical. It's an interesting combination of motion and an effort to stop motion -- the hand endeavoring to contain things, the chairlike structure formed by the belt in the lower left also designed to sort of stop or at least contain the craziness of that big red squiggle.

The hand (which is palm up in the original photo, an ad in a magazine) also resembles a traditional gesture of the Buddha, I now see.

So even though I was not consciously creating anything about this, just letting it go where it took me, it perfectly captures how I've been feeling -- stressed, frazzled, in desperate need of the calm that meditation brings, but really struggling to find it. My meditations these days tend to be shorter than my usual 20 minutes and are frequently consumed with to-do lists (in fact, there was a to-do that interrupted this morning's meditation, and now I can't remember what it was... darn...)

Because this is not my usual medium, and because I'm working with limited materials, I think we can safely assume the purpose of these pieces (which I will continue to produce until we move) are less about finding my style and more about expressing whatever is currently occupying heart and soul. This one was actually painted two days ago (I was having so much fun I created two in one day) so it fails to capture the anxiety I felt last night and this morning, a sort of physical, all-consuming weakness and fear. Something in me continues to worry that I won't live to enjoy this wonderful new home we're moving to.

And where does that come from? I suspect from a sense that I don't deserve such... wonderfulness? generosity? beauty? happiness? I'm not sure. The way things are these days -- it's been such a hideous year, for so many people -- it feels hard to justify such pure pleasure as this new place brings me. I suppose it's that old protestant guilt mechanism surfacing again -- heavily enforced by my angry friend who's so annoyed that I'm moving, I'm sure.

But I will continue to paint, and hopefully what joy I feel whenever I'm in the new place will carry me through this awkward time of transition -- and perhaps even express itself on the page. Who knows?


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