I Believe I’m Right


The world searches for another “why”.  Another large number of innocents lost to violence. Social media is lit with more peace, less hate memes. Prayers for Orlando are everywhere.  Vigils have been attended by thousands. Families mourn the loss of their precious loved ones.  Lives changed forever by a belief. 

Tragically, Omar Mateen’s beliefs sent him into a nightclub to spray death. He thought he was right.

How does a belief turn into an action so permanent, so horrendous?  We are all human.  We live and die, bleed when wounded, weep when we grieve. We need to eat, have shelter and safety.  And if we are blessed, we have love.  So, why is it we have to believe we are right overriding everyone’s else right to believe. Why can’t we respect that someone else does not believe what we do?

Laws to change beliefs may work on the surface, but do they change a person’s underlying belief?   Take the recent transgender bathroom issue….if someone believes it isn’t right, they are never going to agree, or understand.  All they are going to be is mad because someone is telling them their belief is wrong.  

We say we believe that love is the answer.  Then we post incredibly insulting and disrepectful posts about politicians we don’t like.  And we extend the meanness to those who might vote for them.  Because  we are right, we say terrible things to friends and family, but change our Facebook status to include rainbow colors because we believe we should love everyone.   Unless of course it happens to be a family member who isn’t behaving the way you believe they should. We condemn religions, lifestyles, corporations and mothers who don’t watch their children as carefully as we think they should.  We say mean things to people we hardly know through the magic of a keyboard and Facebook, in groups that only exist in the thin air of the Internet. 

Oh yes, we believe in love, we love everyone.  We just don’t respect them. We are right and nothing else matters. We judge, we gossip, and if we could control everything, if everyone would just follow our belief, the world would be a better place.  Being right is better than being kind or respectful. I know, because I’m as guilty as the next.

Saddened, I don’t know how to stop the hate.  My counter response is going to be a concerted effort to perform more random acts of kindness, using my art for good, work on not judging …and understanding I am not always right.   I will only share stories of love and kindness.  Always believing respect is more important than love, it’s time to walk the talk.  I am going to work on remembering to respect that others disagree.  Because we don’t gain support, empathy or love when we insist we are right.

But that’s just my belief.  I might not be right.

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Filling Up

Growing up with depression era parents means you just can’t ditch that sketchbook you don’t like.

The first page of my coveted Moleskine made me realize it didn’t work very well with watercolor.
 The next sketch made me realize how difficult it was to erase….and it smudged.  Disappointed,  I relegated it to the limbo land of vacation sketchbooks.  These are the  incomplete and abandoned sketchbooks that go with me when I travel.  You know the ones…   you don’t care if you get some suntan lotion on the page, a page gets wrinkled, or if the edges get a little uneven from a wet bathing suit. 

The sketchbook had some half hearted sketches in it before I started to art journal again.  Combining fleeting moments with words, for me, is a comfortable  process to keep sketching and preserve some memories.   Sort of double dipping. But my determination to keep trying to add watercolor just proved frustrating. And soon the sketchbook, with it’s black cover felt like a black hole.

Enter inspiration in the form of Facebook.

One of my favorite sites to fill up my creative well is The Artist Workshop Journal site.  Chock full of beautiful pages, beginners giving it a go, and a supportive group of people, I am constantly amazed at the skill and diversity of this group.  Yesterday someone was also lamenting her sketchbook and how it just couldn’t take watercolor.  But this smart person was using colored pencils instead. Duhhhhh.  Why hadn’t I th0ught of that?

And when I checked in again later someone had posted a link on how to start a nature journal.   My new home sits on a pond.  Chickadees and titmice have been replaced with exotic long-legged waders. Limpkins sounding prehistoric, white ibis with bubblegum pink curved beaks, a great blue heron who scares the devil out of me as he walks boldly past my shoulder just feet away from my window.  We have elegant swallow tailed kites, a pair of osprey, who put on diving displays, the amazingly graphic wood ducks, Tri-colored herons, little blues, an occasional yellow crowned night heron, green herons.  All like some trailer to a movie I haven’t yet seen.

Taking more inspiration from another artist, Ken Januski,  who regularly practices field sketches of birds with a sumi brush, and shares them on Facebook, I am determined to fill the last 15 pages of this sketchbook with field sketches of my New Nature.

Giving up and giving in.  

This sketchbook is full of both.  But, after 15 more pages, it will be full.

“Did You Art Today?’ 

Lucky

We are sitting watching the rain from our first tropical storm as Florida residents.  Named Colin, ironically the same as Jim’s grandson.  We are prepared, have no where to be, and fresh back from a visit to see dear friends who have family on the East Coast of Florida.  I must admit, it is odd to see such grey across our little lake.

My latest commission has been delivered.  Lucky, a sweet beagle girl, came off the brush pretty easily, christening my new dining room studio with it’s first “official” work.

Reminding me of how art seems to finds a way in my life….and how lucky I am.
“Did You Art Today?”