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.