Thursday, July 17, 2014

This smoky, hot, muggy summer day began with digging sod. Not the most inspiring way to start the day. When it became too hot to dig, Blue and I set off for our walk around the pond and a daily painting. 

I am always amazed and grateful for the the power of creating art to uplift one's mood. The artist's task of slowing down and noticing something that provokes the senses - whether it be beautiful, interesting, or sad, always makes me feel more at ease in the world. I think it comes down to a cultivation of mindfulness, and for someone whose mind relaxes most with busy hands, the work of an artist is a really a blessing. 

I'll keep this short because I think Mary Oliver says it all in her poem, "Mindful."


Every day I see or hear something that more or less
kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle 
in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for - to look, to listen,
to lose myself inside this soft world - to instruct myself over and over
in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant - but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help
but grow wise with such teachings as these - the untrimmable light
of the world, the ocean's shine, the prayers that are made out of grass?

~ Mary Oliver ~

A smoky sky backdrop at the Esther Simplot park pond softened all the edges.