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Archive for December 9th, 2021

Finding a New Way

GC Myers- Heliotrope sm



Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

-John Quincy Adams



I run the post below, a favorite of mine, every few years. While I rerun it because, like this morning, I am short on time, I do it mainly for myself. It’s a short essay that always gives me a boost and reminds me that I still have the ability to adapt to and overcome adversity. Knowing this takes away a lot of fear and anxiety. Hopefully, it can do the same for others.



I don’t what made this pop into my head but I was thinking about a conversation from a few years back that I had with a friend who is also a painter. He has been a working artist for almost his entire adult life, fairly successful for much of that time. We both agree that we are extremely fortunate to have found our careers, one that feels like a destination rather than a passageway to some other calling.

For me, I knew this was the career for me when I realized I no longer looked at the job listings in the classified section of the paper. For most of my life, I felt there was something else out there that would satisfy me but I didn’t know what it was or how to find it. Maybe it was as simple as finding the right job.

Or so I thought.

When you don’t know where you’re going, any direction feels like it might be the right direction.

But during this particular conversation this friend asked, “What would you do if you suddenly couldn’t paint? What if you were suddenly blind?”

For him, it was unthinkable. His entire working life had consisted of the totally visual, based on expressing every emotion in paint.

I thought about it for a second and said simply, “I’d do something else. I’d find a way.”

In that split-second I realized that while I loved painting and relished the idea that I could communicate completely in paint, painting was a mere device for self-expression.

But it was not the only way to go.

I knew then, as I know now, that the deprivation of something that has come to mean so much to me would, in itself, create a new need for expression. And I also knew that knowing of this new need, I had the ability to figure out how it could be satisfied.

I have always marveled at the people who, when paralyzed or have lost use of their arms, paint with their toes or their mouth. Their drive to communicate overcame their obstacles. Mine would as well.

If blinded, I could or do something with words, using them to create color and texture. Perhaps not at the same level as my painting, but it might grow into something different given the circumstance. The need to communicate whatever I needed to communicate would create a pathway.

It was an epiphany in that moment. Just knowing that I had found painting gave me the belief that I could and would find a new form of expression if needed.

I did it once and I could do it again. And I found that greatly comforting.

Yes, I’d find a way…

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