Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
We are living in a crazy time. Every week, every day, brings us news of some new atrocity around the world– Nice, France is just the latest of all too many– and we find ourselves gripped with feelings of anger, fear and confusion. We want answers and solutions yet we don’t really know what are the real questions being posed before us. We just want action, or should I say reaction.
We seem to react, raging and flailing, to every situation without thought. We take little time to consider our words or actions and their consequences. It is all now, now, now. And this unsettled impatience makes us willing to look to those people who offer us quick and easy answers with little substance to back their claims of what they can do. This path ultimately comes at a much greater expense than we could ever foresee in our haste to react.
There are no quick and easy answers to the questions and problems that lay before us. The immediate future requires, as Neruda puts it above, a burning patience. Our first reaction is not always our best and taking a long moment to contemplate our actions is generally a wise move.
That being said, I have to say that the last few weeks have proved to me that my work has a real purpose, at least for myself. This has been a time of real stress in the world and with every day’s dose of awful news I found myself looking closer and closer at my work as I was getting ready for the upcoming show. At certain stressful moments, I found myself really going into the work, being absorbed by the harmonies and rhythms.
These moments were like little meditative breaks where I felt the chaos of the outside world was blocked off, only a dark mass well beyond the boundaries of the world I was now in. It brought on an energizing calm, one that allowed me to not react with anger or despair. It reinforced my burning patience.
And that was just what I needed from it.
The painting above is titled The Patient Heart and is 4″ by 16″ on paper. It is included in my show, Contact, at the West End Gallery in Corning, which opens next Friday, July 22. The show has been delivered and is now in the gallery for previews.