Yesterday I enjoyed a long afternoon in the studio, time that stretched late into the evening as well. It felt good. God urged me on.
“Tori” :: 36″x24″ :: Oil on Canvas :: Commissioned
I originally created this blog post a little over a month ago. I had intended on writing more, a whole lot more, but perhaps this is enough. With only a month and a half before I leave for Africa, I am diving deep into the process of painting. I am preparing for a solo-exhibition. It is long over-due and I am eager for its completion. I publish this post today as a reminder of the way God makes Himself present on this journey, continuously. In every moment, He is there. As an artist, I have taught myself to pay attention to the details that might otherwise be overlooked.
Dear Abba, help me to see. Show me the way. Use my hands, my heart, my ears, my eyes. Prepare me. Dear Abba, I surrender.
“Abba, I abandon myself in your hands. Do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all: I accept all. Let your will be done in me and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my spirit. I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and I give myself, surrender myself into your hands without reserve, with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.” ~Charles Foucauld
Life is both empty and full. It contains goodness beyond measure, even as I continue to swim through the challenges that each day offers.
As for Henry, ol hairy legs, this ragamuffin and companion extraordinaire…he has found his new rhythm in life. I follow his lead. He knows his place and it is with us. He is constantly finding comfort and happiness, despite all the changes in his life, and I surely do love that about him. People often oversimplify dogs and think that they are always, easily, just “in the moment.” I’m not so sure that is true. Henry has experienced his own deep grief in losing Carl. But watching him work his way through it has been a blessing each and every day.
Not painting yet, but I am in the studio and it feels good. I used to tell Carl every single day how much I love this space. Even after everything, it is still true. This place has a goodness about it. It feels comforting and safe. There’s a loving quality resonating from somewhere deep within the structure of this old building. I can’t help but love Sundays here the best. My spirit is calmer. It’s quieter on the street outside, there’s less foot traffic and the quality of light always seems more golden, even on cloudy days. Over time, it is possible that I will do a lot of healing here.
I love you, Carl. When I’m here, I always feel you with me.
This morning a friend sent me a link to a page of quotes. The one that had the most impact on me said this:
“What does a thought look like? Just look around you, right now… to see yours.”
I looked around and saw 3 peacefully sleeping dogs who are deeply loved and deeply in love. I saw mist rising from my humidifier, bringing to life the smell of sweet orange oil, an aroma that eases depression. I saw that I am surrounded by warmth.
Blessing on this view.
I love you, Carl, in all the ways that I find my way to comfort, even in its smallest forms. You are with me everywhere.
Stop. Drop. And selfie. + a black dog photobomb. A moment today that included a genuine smile.
…and then Henry wanted in on the fun, too.
Nearly impossible to summarize the past few days…North Dakota, being on the road, the sunsets, the immense amount of work, the roller coaster of emotions, the amazing help, the late night trip home, the exhaustion, this day of gratitude…
I don’t know where to start and so I’ll start right here. With this moment on my kitchen floor. This moment when the Thanksgiving festivities were all over and we all missed Carl and I felt a little consumed by how many days ahead of me I have without him. I came home and put on his old flannel shirt. I was all alone and not knowing how I felt about that, but ended up smiling because my dog Ella attacked me with love and then Henry wanted in on the fun, too. Which leads us right here to the present moment.
And all the while I’ve had this song playing over and over and over in my head…for over a week. I dream it, I wake up to it, I hum it, I pray it, I fall asleep to it. I hear it while I drive or tend to tasks. Over and over it keeps playing like a song that Carl is sending me, just like he always used to do.