How to Redeem a Bad Day (and an Overworked Painting)
I had a really bad day last week. And even in the midst of it, I wanted to do something to redeem it, to add some sweetness to the bitterness. So I grabbed a discarded painting with beautiful, spontaneously created texture and I slopped on too much paint and too many colors and overworked it to the point that I thought there was no saving it.
It felt good and therapeutic to create in such a reckless way. To make something wild and channel my frustration into a mess of color and to feel satisfied with the process of expression, even without the satisfaction of a beautiful end product.
And then Hubby came home with flowers. Sunny orange daisies, soft yellow roses, violet chrysanthemens and blue thistles. I was struck by the way the colors of the flowers echoed the colors in my painting and I knew that even though it seemed this mess was beyond repair, I had to keep going, to keep wrestling, even if I had to scrape away a few layers to let the light back in again.
Sometimes growth is watered with tears.
So I painted some more and laughed as my littlest daughter ran back and forth from the kitchen, in-between bites of her peanut-butter-and-Nutella toast, just so she could wipe her chocolatey face on my skirt (in what I'm thinking was an 18-month-old's attempt to cheer me up). After another touch or two, I think this painting might actually turn out to be an odd little favorite of mine!
I thought of these joyful lines from one of our favorites storybooks, Michael Rosen's classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt:
"Oh oh a river! A deep, cold river.
We can't go over it,
We can't go under it,
Oh no! We've got to go through it!
Splash splosh! Splash splosh! Splash splosh!"
Take heart, friend! Whatever you're up against today, you can overcome it. But the only way through just might be to dance
Update: Read more of my pondering and see the finished painting here!
Thursday link: Imperfect Prose