I need to take a lesson from my friend, “Cohco”. She knows how to celebrate her birthday. She jumps at what looks interesting in her very busy life as single mom, working professional, and aspiring songwriter. Me? I am apt to wait until the last minute, find something I want to do, and then say, “oh no, that’s too indulgent!” Later, I wonder why I passed on an opportunity to be kind to myself or just do something fun. This year, we celebrated Cohco’s birthday at Paint Nite – a painting class held in a local restaurant where we painted, socialized and enjoyed an adult beverage (or two or three).
Pencil and pastels were my medium back in college, when I took a heavy load of art and writing classes. I enrolled in painting, but had to drop the class because I couldn’t afford the supplies. Painting always held mystery to me. Drawing – I cracked its code. It’s the distillation of values – light and shadow – put together in a way that when you step back you see the whole. That process of “seeing without seeing” is very meditative. I now see painting’s code, and the process is not only equally meditative but also surprisingly sensuous, even sensual. There’s something about brushing color and texture on a canvas…mmmm. Or maybe it’s just the cocktails? Nah, painting’s a keeper.
A week or so ago, while running errands with Em I picked up a meditation coloring book similar to the one below. Have I found coloring meditative? Uh, is it Zen to fend off kiddo’s Crayola-fisted assaults on my masterpiece when said kiddo can’t be bothered to open any of the stacks of coloring books she owns? Yeah, if I’m honest it was a quiet break from thinking, in the vein of a fencer shutting off his brain to counter-parry in a match. The reward was Em looking in awe at my finished work and saying, “Mommy, you are a good colorer. Do another one!”
Hmmmm…I see another use for The Studio, which I can’t wait to see when I get back home tomorrow. Hubby is very excited to show me his progress while Em and I have been away. Stay tuned….