For those of me who know me, I am often not lacking in words. They tend to fly out of my mouth before I can think them through and without a filter. For me, saying them out loud, is a way to test their substance. Sometimes they hold and stick and other times they fall flat. I am sure my family and friends would appreciate it very much if I could do this quietly in my head. It would save me a lot of embarrassment as well. I tend to babble when I am nervous.. just as I am doing now.
I am nervous because I can’t find the words to express one of the saddest experiences yet in the strangest ways beautiful moments of my life. I have been processing this night in my head for almost 4 months now. My sister, who I so gratefully share an unbelievable bond with, lost her baby mid-term. It may be hard to believe this next statement, but I was fortunate to be with her when she delivered her still-born daughter. My niece was perfect. It was gut wrenching, heart breaking and left us all with so many unanswered questions, difficult questions. Some that will never be answered and as time goes by, I am learning to embrace that and be okay with it. I have spent the last few weeks going back and forth to this canvas. It started as a landscape and then I saw my sister’s face and it became a portrait. I guess I needed to process in the way that is most familiar to me. It helped. It helped me find some silver linings in such a horrible time. It helped me celebrate my sister. It helped me to let go of baby Elise. I am so grateful to have the paints to turn to when my heart hurts and my brain is overwhelmed. It is good to let them speak for me, as they are better than my words.
A couple of years ago, the boys and I had a Saturday planned full of going to see firetrucks, playing at the park, a picnic, feeding the ducks and on and on. Chris was of course working and I was ready to get out of the house and away from endless cycle of domestic…chores… no I mean hell. We were off to a good start but not long into it, with the youngest perched on my hip, another began to melt down and it quickly got ugly. Oiyyyeee. I was NOT in the mood. My patience had run out.
I went into autopilot mode, sweeping them all in the car in record time. I turned the music up, put the windows down and glared into the rearview mirror daring them with my tired eyes to make even a squeek. Now what? No way was I going home.
So I just began to drive. Out of town and up the mountains we climbed. Each mile seemed to relax us all. The beauty of Colorado is powerful indeed. Westward we went. Following an internal compass we turned North. The air was warm and lovely, the sky its famous blue. We wound our way up and over, and left and right. I could have driven all day. Of course however, nature called and my guys needed a pit stop.
At a little pull off, we found the most perfect corner of the world. The boys gravitated to the river throwing rock after rock after rock. Slowly shoes, shirts and shorts came off. I pulled out our picnic and feasted. We stayed the whole day in that spot. I felt myself decompress, forgiving (them and more importantly myself) and soaking up every sense of the afternoon. The sun began to set on the canyon wall and my toe-headed boys were glistening as much as the water rushing by them. I will never forget that all encompassing warm glow.
Happy and tired, the boys climbed into the car and were fast asleep before I could even get turned around to head home. I enjoyed the quiet, the sunset and the gratitude of how the day had unexpectedly turned out so well. That day carried me for a long time and I can still go there when I need to escape a bit. The week following, I painted this canvas. It feels playful to me and evokes pure happiness.
I am pretty sure that chocolate can cure, for at least a sweet moment, almost anything. Today I have been at the computer working on my resume, art photos and applications in an attempt to get caught up, focused and goal oriented. It is frightening, exciting, nerve racking and fun to think of the endless possibilities I could potentially put on a future resume. Lately, it has seemed as though doors are opening or perhaps rather unlocking for me to open. I find myself knowing I can no longer stay in my comfort zone. It is time to push forward. Thank goodness I have my dear friend Chocolate by my side to take the edge off. Today, I am feasting on an extra dark chocolate called Venchi from Italy. It is divine.. and the best part is that I am the only one in the house that knows it is here! ssshhhhh!!