One of the things that lock-down has given me, and I suspect has given lots of other people, is time.
I don’t have anywhere that I need to be. My day is no longer being driven by the clock. Or the diary. Or a schedule of activities There are a few things I need and want to do like preparation for ‘cyber-church’ or our regular study night; researching and all that kind of stuff. I’ve been staying in touch with some people via Zoom. In the main I’ve been in isolation mode and trying to use my time wisely.
But ‘time’ swirls effortlessly around things in ways I have not experienced before: much like a river runs around rocks and logs and old discarded fence posts. It’s all very smooth and gentle really.
I know it’s not like that for everyone; especially for parents with young children – working from home, running a home and acting as teaching supervisors/entertainers / and full-time conflict resolution experts.
I’ve been reading a fair bit too – going deeper into my appreciation of all things Chinese (philosophy, art etc ) Even watched a bit of TV – more than usual. Been writing too, as well as face-timing my adult children ( I wish we could find another name to describe ‘that’ relationship). But one thing that has kept me occupied is my deep love for painting. I don’t mean bedroom walls etc. But my genuinely humble attempts at trying to be artistic.
I’ve dabbled with painting on and off since I was about 12. My first painting in poster-paints was of a horse show-jumping over a red and white striped fence. Since then I’ve played around with oils, and acrylics. But I’ve been back with watercolour painting for about 6 months now. It’s a most unforgiving and at the same time exciting medium.
I love painting with watercolour because it feels like a real partnership in which the medium imposes itself upon the process. Unexpected things happen. There is a real sense of watching ‘magic’ unfold as water, pigment, paper and ideas come together.
Here’s one of my more recent ones. Just lately I’ve been having a recurring dream. In it I am in a rowing boat crossing a river. In the dream I am of Asian appearance. I even have hair. It’s all very quiet and calm on the river. It’s like the river is in lock-down too. Not a ripple. Not a sound except for that gentle slapping sound of water against the side of a boat; just that beautiful sense of stillness that invites me to relax and go with the flow. The flow of the river. The flow of time. The flow of life.
Peace be with you.