After several months of sadness and grief I am wanting to return to my blog refreshed and renewed.
I am still in grief but I do not feel discontent and God has been good to me. I really wanted to write a little about my experience of God and how his word really has been a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have lost two Grandparents this year. I loved them dearly and a little part of me has gone with them. I feel a huge gap where they both once were and I am so sorry for myself that I can no longer share tea and biscuits with them to name such a little of such great happiness they brought me. I was so happy and comforted and unfortunately life is such that it cannot last forever.
I have made my peace with their passing and I made that quickly. I am not sad that they are not here, I am only sad for myself that I can no longer see them until I pass myself.
However pondering over this subject and experiencing many losses in life I have always felt a guidance from God. I felt I needed to share with others how comforted I have been in reading Bible passages which have spoken directly to my heart. I also feel that in my darkest moments I have felt a resolve so strong I have surprised myself. I have strength in abundance when I accept God’s wonderful presence in my life. I have been guided and lifted and never alone. I have asked God for help and he has calmed me. I have felt tears subside and peace within. I am still grieving and I do not mean to say that I am jumping around like a frolicking lamb! But I am at peace with my life and I am happy to leave my path in God’s hands. With this I can be strong and courageous.
There are some beautiful passages throughout the whole Bible and I strongly encourage those of you who are interested or Christians yourself to seek out the ones that speak to you. The Holy text is so beautiful that you will find a passage that speaks directly to you and that grows in meaning as you grow in wisdom.
I will be posting weekly from now on and I will be dedicating my art to the blessings I have had in life and to the encouragement of others who may be in a dark place now.
If you are struggling, no matter what faith or beliefs you have there is always a light to look out for and always a new day to heal, grow and walk in sunshine. Your sadness will not last and you will laugh again.
I found this image and was inspired to write a little this evening.
It is to my own experience that life can be made very difficult by ever increasing and what seems to be limitless circumstances. There are times when we all must face our fears and losses and deal with the things that we would never have dreamed of.
Loss of a loved one for example, something which I envisaged to be a devastating affliction with which all future experience is tainted. It is of course. As I sit here writing this I am aware of the gaping hole which has been blasted through my entire life. The threads of my existence feel withered, worn, depleted. The vitality of colour has faded with tears and I must admit to my own disgust that self-pity has turned into scathing self-deprication.
Beyond all of this there is still a belief that somewhere beyond all of this sadness there is a point. My firm existence in God is what may help secure this. Perhaps it is the loving memories forever within me. Moments of happiness which resonate just below the surface smile and for a sweet moment as if they are here in this reality rather than the eternal recesses of my mind.
Just as Chopin’s Nocturnes and Rachmaninov are beautifully exquisite and at once moving, I am sure they experienced the pain of loss to encompass such poignancy in their music. This music reveals to me that without pain there is no beauty. Such grief and pain would not exist without such love and compassion. It would not be felt for a stranger but for a companion and love that is so embedded into the heart we cannot let them go easily.
How beautiful to have shared such loving memories with someone, how beautiful to be loved unconditionally. Therefore my grief is beautiful and it makes my blessings all the more real. In this case so beautiful but so very hard.
So perhaps it is true then that even during this dark time my life also can be beautiful?
I believe so. And I believe that of everyone I meet. Our pain is our humanity. Our collective pain is our connection to each other. Our collective grief our understanding. And our understanding compassion. Not easy but oh so beautiful.
If only to return to the summer days of daisy chains and carnival parades, summer charades, water tirades and mischevious escapades usually on rollerblades…..
Dear Reader I am in grief,
I am another year older and none the wiser and the only thing I can do is look toward the younger generations and in my affluent ignorance and offer them my only advice. To love it while it lasts. I am grieving very deeply for a time when there was more hope. I am grieving for a time when the people I loved would always be here. I am grieving for a time when the concept of loss was to a game. Not the forever barren cavernous hole that is laid bare before me.
Even though I am sad I am happy it is at the loss of something I would never change…This can be my happiness when I think back to how things have been and the summer days I have whiled away in contentment.
I have as much knowledge as when I was a child only in different things. But I had not experienced the pain of watching others suffer and felt the emptiness of loss within my heart. This is how I seem older, this is how any of us seem older. It is not in our accomplishments, it is in our losses. We are not the sum of our lives but the test of our strength in difficulty.
Growth can be such a painful thing. When we are younger we often feel it in the back of our legs as we have growing pains. To me these were quite substantial as a child. When these begin to ease it is often then that we feel growth pains in other ways.
I have felt mine mostly through my heart and stomach. Some soft and some sharp, and all with a stark reality. I have only begun to understand these as growing pains. Growth must be the reason why we all feel so torn and broken sometimes. Perhaps it is for the good of spiritual growth that we should feel the pain and torment of fragmented peace? Still we stand outwardly the same.
I have felt great pain and I imagine it will only get worse as life descends into the inevitable. I anticipate loss and await my turn to feel it.
I only hope the growth is proportionate to the pain. That may be one consolation.
“The darkest hour is just before dawn” (The Mamas and the Papas)
How right the Mamas and Papas were when they sang that beautiful line in one of my favourite songs from my childhood. I’m not actually a child of the sixties but my parents were partial to the sounds of it and so I’m a throwback from a freer time! Or so I would like to think.
Dear readers what a week…
Have you ever felt an impalpable fear of absolutely nothing? Well I hadn’t to be honest until recently. At the tender age of 28 (if I do say so myself) by most people’s standards I am a youngster. Or as I my Gran would say I have barely scratched the surface.
The few problems I am having is that I don’t feel youthful. I can feel each day passes and it’s almost out of control. If any of you dear readers have experienced the melancholy of nostalgia before middle age I would love to know, because to be honest it’s somewhat ridiculous.
I want to continue my path towards the light.
I have just watched a Ted Talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cpc-t-Uwv1I which moved me to tears and I highly recommend watching it. It really brought to me a sense that today is so important. The brilliant speaker was discussing how values and beliefs can change our path and ultimately it is fulfilment which brings us success and contentment rather than a external idea of “doing well”. The speaker used an example from his own life which showed an example of how people make decisions and ultimately change their path through their ideas of how things work. It was quite wonderful to watch and made me realise (hopefully not blindly) that I am someone who does see the positives and that perhaps my grieving period is merely that.
Lets strive for what we believe in and please remind me of these words if I forget to do so myself. Forget the negative ideas which people can impose or introduce, the negative has a tendency to resonate a little easier within humanity but if we can shake it off we can feel a little lighter than before.
The sun is always shining brightly to sustain this beautiful world. If I must grieve then so be it, it will make the colours so much brighter when the darkness ends.
This is a quick sketch done for some of my students. Dancing has been prevalent in my mind recently as I am so aware of the intense amounts of pain dancers go through to seek their idea of perfection and happy results.
I have always loved to watch the ballet. The fluid movement alongside a narrative and set music is captivating. Ballet represents so much of what we take for granted in life and a few things came as a consolation to me.
The beautiful ballerinas who move so gracefully have spent hours upon hours perfecting the way they connect with their surroundings and training meticulously each and every angle of their figures. They have studied and corrected many mistakes and forgiven much misgivings of their own weaknesses in order to be able to perform to such a standard.
These talented and poignant move makers have deliberated over pain and therefore overjoyed in finishing a production. They have struggled towards their result and they have felt pain in their labour. It is reflective of our own journeys in life, and highlights that we must also strive to achieve our dreams even when we feel the pain of our own limitations and circumstance.
I deliberate much over my own weaknesses, and mistakes I have made. I have felt the pain of choice and consequence but I cannot give up.
Pain never lasts and will be the toughening fragment of a heart once weak. Stand tall in the wake of what’s to come next. Let the movement flow because it is still beautiful and it is still worth watching…