A Girl Named Leney

THE JOURNAL

Posts tagged Art
For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing

the following words are by John O' Donohue from this article which quotes a piece from his book: To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.
i came across them at the beginning of the year while listening to Krista Tippett's podcast On Being and they've stuck with me ever since. 

there is both a soothing and invigorating quality about these words. i have yet to read any of O' Donohue's books, but i can assure you that several are now on my book list.
 
i wanted to share this here in case it could speak similarly to any of you. i can recount so many seasons in which i felt exactly like this. indeed, have just been released from such a season. so i hope, if any of you are burdened and weary in such a way, these words bring you some encouragement and motivation to keep moving forward.

if you find them meaningful and choose to share them as well, please be sure to credit the author. as an artist myself, i believe that is is so very important to credit and source the art of those we admire properly.
especially in this easily shareable/tweetable/copy-and-paste society we reside in.


When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

I Dwell In Possibility

i read this poem recently, and it's theme is quite prevalent for me right now.
by which i mean, there is so much possibility swirling around these days and i am filled with anticipation in the witnessing and acknowledging of it


I dwell in Possibility — (#466)

by Emily Dickinson

 

I dwell in Possibility —

A fairer House than Prose —

More numerous of Windows —

Superior — for Doors —

 

Of Chambers as the Cedars —

Impregnable of eye —

And for an everlasting Roof

The Gambrels of the Sky —

 

Of Visitors — the fairest —

For Occupation — This —

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise —

 

ArtLeney Art, quote, PoemComment
Ten Years

i visited one of my favorite places last weekend the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
this place has been witness to so many moments in my life.
both with others and alone.
it's a place that feels like home to me.
(feel free to search the VMFA in the search box at the bottom of the site to see some of my other visits there from over the years)

i specifically went to see the new exhibit of Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch's work and was surprised by how much i loved it and was inspired by their artistry. 
previously only familiar with Munch's The Scream, i was truly enrapt with the diversity and beauty of both of these artist's work.

i read a plaque on one piece (often the words on the plaque beside a piece of art end up meaning more to me than the work itself. i'll frequently snap photos of them or write them down in a notebook. words immerse me.) that stated that Jasper Johns worked on his cross hatching technique for ten years.
ten years.
that's about a third of my lifetime.
i've heard it said that to truly have mastered the art of something and to do it well is to have stuck with it for a decade. 
an idea, in this have-it-right-now society of ours, that's so foreign.
we are used to instant gratification.
what is it to work at and stick with something consistently for ten years?
perhaps that strikes you as discouraging, but i find it the opposite. 
because it's a reminder that success, in all of it's various forms, is not instant. that the achievements truly worth having in life are worth working hard for. as, once obtained, they will taste all the sweeter for we truly know what it was to earn them with our blood, sweat and tears.

my business is reaching it's sixth birthday this spring, and while it's changed and varied in it's execution, i'm proud to say that i've stayed true to who i am as an artist and how that's translated in different ways over the years. it feels good to look back at something and, while the look of it doesn't appeal to me now, or my tastes have changed since, i'm still proud of it. because i know at the time of it's execution, that was who i was, and i embraced that and lived it out fully and gave it my all.

so here's to the next four years, to reach that ten year mark.
i hope i look back when i get there and am able to still be proud of what i've created and what i've worked for. 

p.s. another realization and thought brought about by the exhibit was on the resiliency that joy brings amidst despair, which can be read here.
p.p.s. this exhibition prompted me to get back into painting more than ever (something i shared a few weeks ago)! you can see a photo of that here.