There are some things in the studio that are a beautiful metaphor for how our lives are really going. My newest project sums up everything about my life as a yogi, a development professional, a wife, a mother, a person of faith.
Years ago, I painted a puzzle — it was eight smaller cubes that fit together to form a much bigger cube. On the outside facades, I painted apples. On the other facades of the individual cubes, there were aspects of a human face. It sold in a show in Tennessee, and I was shocked. I still miss it, like you miss an old friend. I thought I would paint another one, but you start to understand the futility of this enterprise. It is like saying, “I’ll have another child just like the one I just had.” It doesn’t happen.
So, when I started treating myself to a weekly bouquet of flowers, I thought — great idea for the facade of another puzzle piece! My sweet hubby helped me pick out a beautiful piece of pine at Home Depot and waited as a patient wood-cutter split the beam into 33 pieces of 3.5 x 3.5 inch cubes. They occupy a laundry basket in my studio.
The pics of these blossoms inspired me and the first painting of my first little cube came out pretty effortlessly in an afternoon.
Then life got in the way. I subbed a lot of classes at the studio and I learned a lot, but didn’t paint at all. Then I had a big event for work and didn’t spend any time painting. I wanted to make sure to spend time with the wonderful and giving hubby that would spend time with me in the Home Depot and is a wonderful friend and companion. No painting — but lots of time with him. The second and the third facades were not as effortless. The details of the flowers were not fun, they were painful — how many little lines are in those strange little green flowers? How do you paint a flower that has petals like a cabbage, for God sakes? My back ached in the seat, I kept finding new distractions in the room…
The unpainted cubes mock me from the laundry basket. What was I thinking? Why is this project even remotely important?
Even though I’ve lost my sense of purpose or process with this project, I must get through these blocks. I can’t have twenty-nine 3.5 inch cubes in our laundry basket any longer.
Spring needs to come soon, literally and figuratively. As a meditative prayer, I’ll be painting lots and lots of very complicated flowers. And that’s the yogic/parenting/friendship/spiritual lesson. Get on with it because we really, really need the laundry basket. And spring.