Close up of Painted Door…as of yet this is untitled
Painted Door

It’s been the spring of slow beginnings here in Door County Wisconsin.  It’s April 27 and it’s a chilly 37 degrees today.  None of the bulbs in our woods have bloomed yet; we have just lost the last snow from the melting banks along our driveway.  Nonetheless, setting up shop for the Gallery season is on the agenda this week, for an opening on Memorial Day weekend.  The days of getting lost in painting all afternoon and reading and writing in the evening, if not coming to an end, are going to be rarer than busy days of business ownership.

It has me reflecting on balance.  Many of us spend a great deal of our lives trying to understand our lives.  My painting is my meditation, my vigorous practice where I find meaning.  Listening to archived podcasts of On Being with Krista Tippet today I listened to an interview with Brian Greene, “Reimagining The Cosmos.”  At one point in the interview Tippett asked Greene if he experienced the relativity of time or only understood it through mathematical equations.  I was surprised at the answer.  He wholeheartedly believes the proof in the math that time does not have the linear and regular structure we understand it to have in Western Thought, it is the same equations that bring us our technology, our cell phones and our podcasts!  And yet, in his daily life, he does not experience time to be fluid, changeable and relative.  If asked if the past is over and the future hasn’t happened he has to be truthful, that is how he experiences it.
I can’t wrap my head around the math, but I feel that I am able to experience the non-linear nature of time.  Within the time at the easel there is “lost” time, and during those intervals of being I experience things differently than I do when conscious of time.  I “know” things I would not otherwise know and I can experience life differently, with a spaciousness that otherwise doesn’t exist.  Perhaps seasoned meditators feel this way.  When I get caught up in the linear aspects of life, paying the bills, keeping up my online shop, shipping orders, and setting up shop for customers, the structure kicks in out of necessity.
I enjoy having a Gallery to open, am looking forward to seeing my regular customers and meeting new people, and set up is a fun creative project.  Meanwhile my time at the easel is going to be a fraction of what it was this winter.  And moving back and forth between ways of being is not always easy.  So how to find the balance….?
Wishing Stones.

I have more questions about this than answers right now.  I would love to hear what other artists do.  For now I have embarked on smaller projects that focus my energies into a specific idea, something I can meditate on.  They may not take my thoughts to the depths of my larger paintings, but they take me out of the cycle of work, production, and earning that we all have to do to survive.  It’ll be interesting to see how that changes my ideas and work.

The Stones are characters in a larger story that I can experience individually.

Perhaps the seasons demand different ways of being, and the progress made in the summer season make it possible to do the expansive work of the winter.  I am pondering these things this week.