Life has been a big ride, lately.
A heady mix of bliss, pain, healing, unleashed joyful creativity and heartbreak, mine and others.
As the last few days of the years are unrolling themselves like some bright red carpet, I am feeling some exhaustion and also much gratitude. I am raw. I cry easily. I smile for no apparent reason, especially riding my quad through the rivers and into town.
Last week’s art show/community event/beautiful gathering is still making ripples in my mind. Seeing the fifty-four portraits of The People of the Village all in one place, a very special place, one of the very first places I visited here almost 4 years ago, was huge for me.
The models, their families, their friends, and all of their smiles were more than I had hoped for as I spent the summer painting. Maybe at some point later I will be able to be more eloquent about it but for now every time I try to use words, they just don’t sound right. More like a photocopy with the ink running low. Faded.
Now many of the paintings have new homes and I am cleaning up, finishing a special commission, managing the orders of prints, and getting ready to make a ten-day jump over the border to spend Christmas and my birthday with my family.
Yesterday, as much as I wanted to be with them on Christmas morning (I have never spent Christmas without at least one of my kids since they were born), it all felt like a lot of work, and I second-guessed the trip.
Should I just stay here and rest? After months of a series of (super successful) medical procedures, sweating pretty much 24 hours a day, maneuvering the tricky path of my human heart, and being on the other side of the exhibit, I felt as though I needed to let my emotions catch up, I felt fragile.
Talking with a friend last night, I shared my feelings with her. To make a point about the idea of just staying put, I explained that no matter what, I would be back in the US six weeks later, as a baby girl would be making her arrival. Didn’t it make more sense to wait?
For sure she would agree with me and see “the sense.”
But instead, she turned her blue eyes towards me and said: “That’s a massive assumption.”
A massive assumption. What’s a massive assumption? I WILL be going to the States to meet this baby. There’s no doubt about that. We have talked about it for months.
Then, probably because she was saying nothing at all, in that special space that just waits for us to get it - I got it.
My friend has recently spent months undergoing treatment for a life-threatening illness. She has done so with a blend of characteristic strength and grace and in the process, she has gotten really close to this topic, the topic of Massive Assumptions.
Without her having to explain it, I understood that yes, for me to say to her that I WOULD be going back in six weeks, was indeed a Massive Assumption. In fact a series of them. The Assumption that I would be alive in six weeks, as a start.
“Your family is gathering next week. Go.” is what I think she said.
And that was that.
Since last night, I have been rolling the two words around in my mind.
They go together so well when it comes to explaining an illusion we often choose to believe, whether from fear or arrogance. Maybe simply from ignorance.
Sometimes the more softly something is delivered, the more deeply it goes in. This went in.
So, I will be on a plane next week. Flying across the border towards my family.
May your holidays be soaked with love and glazed with gratitude.
SCARED OF THE SACRED