“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings” - Okakura Kakazo
I’m looking at the fine birch tree in my garden, a tree that reminds me of the many that happily survive harsh winters in the northern wilderness ... it shed its leaves a month ago and the wind can now push easily through it’s wispy branches, twisting and turning but not breaking them. The branches work with the wind, the tree works with the season, it learned a long time ago to adapt, survive, and thrive!
The first word that comes to my mind when I say winter is transformation.... political, emotional, spiritual. At times painful, at times challenging, at times enjoyable, at times confusing, at times upsetting, at times joyful, at times hilarious. The many faces of transformation!
It’s an early, frosty winter morning as I write this. As I’m having my first mug of PG tips of the day I’m ready to go on a journey, a winter journey. The first winter memory that comes to my mind now, is December 1989 and our Romanian revolution, a time of great challenges.
Winter will also be associated in my mind with painting, with the brushes and paints that play such an important part of my life now. That time is also connected with a personal tragedy ......but what is clear to me is that without that tragedy I would never have touched those brushes, I would never have opened a tube of paint, I would never have stepped on my journey of reinvention through art, I would never have enjoyed the sweet taste of inner freedom and the pleasure it brings me every day, I would never have met so many kindred spirits from all around the world.
In times of great challenges ... look for the silver lining, look for that something that has helped you before, look carefully at what is crossing your road in front of you as you travel, look for the sparkle of light in the middle of the storm and use it, use it all. The truth is that you might not see it in that very instance but ... if need be ... invent it! I really mean it! invent it ... through the paints, and through the music that it creates in your mind... visualize it, make it happen! If you are too tired, too in pain, too depleted ..... ask others to visualize with you, ask others to hold your hand and step on the journey of transformation and readjustment with you.
One of the great things about winter is that although we cannot see the seeds in the ground, they are there and the earth is keeping them safe, alive .....and as it warms it will help them come to life in a few months time, in their own rhythm, in their own style ..... surprising us as always with their variety, color, shapes.
It really is the same for each and every one of us.