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An unfinished painting, an unfinished life

Many of you already know that I am scheduled to have surgery for a brain aneurysm next Monday morning. I've known about this for a couple of months.



At one point, considering this, I had to decide whether or not to lease the studio for a year anyway, or risk ever having that dream come true if I didn't go ahead and sign on the dotted line. The studio that I had been waiting to get the keys to for over six months. The studio I had already rearranged in my head a thousand times. The studio I where I was going to move most of my art supplies that had been boxed up, ready, since last September, all trying to trip me every time I walked through the apartment. The studio that transcended Covid threats and world madness, at least in my mind. The studio that helped keep depression at bay while I waited out another rainy winter in too much isolation and too little light.


And then suddenly, with an accidental discovery and diagnosis, I just didn't know what was going to happen and it nearly stopped me from living until I could be sure I wasn't going to die. That calls for a big "ha ha" because I eventually figured out I was going to die. (You are too. ) Probably not from this surgery though.


First I could only think about a worse scenario outcome. Because it's very much in my nature to prepare for the worse and hope for the best. Problem with that was I was doing a lot of preparing and not a lot of living my best in the meantime moments.


I did the things people are supposed to do long before they have to. I strongly recommend doing this when you don't have a uh ...deadline...for getting it all done and notarized. It would be a lot less stressful and probably have less mistakes that you might have to undo once everything works out after all.


This mindset all completely changed when it came down to the wire as to whether or not I would lease the studio for a year regardless. I decided ahead of the actual day I was going to sign the lease. And, regardless of anything else, I was going to have one hell of a happy month painting there and forget about anything else.


Painting is a magic potion for getting and staying in the moment. I started learning how to pour paints and realized it was often dinner time when I thought it must be only nearing lunch time. Pouring paint, instead of intentionally manipulating it on to a canvas in some learned manner, requires finding joy in the process and letting go of perfection and control. You still occasionally get what seems like pure perfection, it just comes as a surprise gift . And you get to reuse most of your canvasses - after a pour fails and there's nothing left to do but scrape the paint off and try again.


My first month (notice I wrote " first") in the studio is over and it's been one of the happiest times in my life ... ever. I'm sure it would have been wonderful to get there without the aneurysm threat as well but I just can't be this happy without being grateful for everything and everyone in my life that led up to this joyful experience and new insights.


I always knew, intellectually, that the only moment we can really live is the present one but I never managed, before, to remember that when worry about the future interfered. But I've been doing that all month,. And it's a wonderful way to experience life, no matter how many moments are involved.


So, I don't know what will happen next week. My odds appear to be wonderful for it turning out just fine though (much better than had I gone on about life not knowing the aneurysm was there and therefore not doing what I can about it. I am in charge of my actions, just not the outcome. And I'm perfectly okay with that.


There's a painting in the studio that is unfinished on purpose. I had a brief conversation with myself about whether or not I HAD to finish it before surgery. But the painting is about letting go of the outcome, trusting, taking a leaf of faith, overcoming obstacles along the way.



I decided I'd like to finish it after the surgery instead.


There won't be any weekly offerings of painting next week. I'll mail any that are sold this week by Friday.


Thank you all for your love and support.


Stephanie





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