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The Resplendent Dance of Life

Lift. Release. Practice. Accept. Turn. Trust. Forgive. Start Again.

I just want to paint!

My ego wants to create spectacular, beautiful works of art without training my muscles, learning the movements of hand and brush…understanding the subtle differences between pressure and water…the nuances of the paint. Lifting, releasing, small turns, straight lines, trying again over and over until I understand my own body in relation to the brush. But I know, day after day, I must practice, stroke by stroke, never neglecting the basics.

Watercolor painting is a resplendent dance…choreographed at times but more often, free flowing, ideas in mind allowing the colors come to life in unexpected ways, unfolding before my very eyes, becoming something imaged and unimagined — like life. We are deceived into believing the goal is easy, uncomplicated, blissful relationships, spared of the hard work of slowly, gently, graciously learning the other’s movements, without the tedious practice of the basics.

But after paint by number friends and loves, I no longer want a partner or friend that doesn’t require intent and wonder. I understand the reward of practice, of experiencing frustration when things don’t go as planned, of pausing to allow the emotional paints to settle so they don’t bleed into one another, discovering complimentary colors of personality, the hues of desire, strengthening the relationship muscle. I’m filled with wonder at what it truly takes to wrap my entire being in the mystery of love.

But I know that in order to create beautiful relationships I first must know myself. To participate in the dance of life, the dance of love, I must learn how I move, how to trust another, to understand what my body needs, how my heart and mind perceive the relationship.

I must know my own nuances…the me holding the brush, moving the water and paint, controlling the flow, the blending of colors that are never the same as before.

I must know myself as the paper, surrendering to the brush strokes, feeling the touch of the artist’s hand, allowing, waiting, being the vessel for the creation to come to life.

Lifting and releasing, accepting, turning, small changes in pressure, feeling the flow. Knowing my strengths. Acknowledging my weaknesses. Releasing judgment. Starting over. Patience. Practice. Forgiving. Letting go of an idea of perfection, allowing life’s artwork to unfold. Loving. Again. And again.

A resplendent masterpiece, indeed.


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