Water is essential to life but water can be noxious to a living being if it is taken from a contaminated source. This is the same with spirituality. We can inadvertently contaminate our own spiritual wells with qualities of doubt, fear, arrogance, boastfulness, divisiveness, hate, condescension and judgment. It is bad enough when these sediments slip into our own spiritual wells but it is far worse to take water from that same well and share it with others. So be ever so mindful of what seeps into the waters that fill your spiritual wells. You may unknowingly contaminate a whole village.
Woodlouse – archival colored ink on 4×4 Strathmore Bristol vellum
It’s not often that I work in color. From experience, it’s a bit more tedious than working with just black ink when it comes to stippling. But sometimes black gets a bit monotonous to me and I need a little splash of color. Working on 4×4 Bristol vellum didn’t feel near as tedious as working on say, a 9×12 piece, so I rather enjoyed doing this little drawing rather than feeling anxious about the time it would take for me to finish. I guess the key for me is to keep things on the small side, which I’m beginning to see is the overarching theme of my life.
Whenever I think about quiting, to give up on my own dreams and succumb to the hum drum, I think about this elderly West Indies lady I met back in college. She was waiting on public transit to come pick her up from after classes and I was just waiting for the rain to let up so that I could get to my car. She was gitty and full of joy and in a polite moment of chit chat, she informed me that she was 57 years old and that she was graduating come May with her Associates. I offered her my congratulations. She went on to tell me how she came to this country with two children in tow and a aging mother. That she worked a full time job, cared for her mother and her children and had been taking classes in the evening whenever she could. It was her dream to get a college degree and after 13 years of taking classes here and there, while working full time and caring for her family, she was on the cusp of achieving that dream. I was genuinely happy for her. I never knew her name and I don’t recall ever seeing her after that brief encounter but I always remember her whenever I get discouraged. In a world where we want things to happen yesterday and we don’t have the patience for tomorrow, she stands as a testimony that we shouldn’t put time limits on our dreams. That no matter what we should keep working towards them even when our efforts seem miniscule. Eventually with time all those little efforts will add up to achieving our goal.
Coming along…albeit slowly. I’ve been a bit busy with life or more correctly put, distracted with life and have only gotten a little inking done on this piece. Admittedly, I was a little frustrated with this drawing at first. You know how you have it in your mind how you want something to turn out yet as you go about trying to do so, it doesn’t seem to go the way you imagined? Yeah, that’s what was going on with this one for me. I found myself getting a bit impatient, which is ironic being as the drawing technique I employ requires a great deal of patience. But it isn’t necessarily the technique that I get impatient with, it’s myself I tend to get short with, especially when I’m trying to achieve something and it isn’t going the way I imagined. So I put this aside for a minute and started something new, which gave me the chance to calm down and gather myself. Now I’m back at it. I suspect that all of this is just a part of my process in creating art.