25 April, 2013

Gratitude and the gift of hardship

An artist I have followed by blog and have admired over the past few years has suffered a horrendous injury. He has lost his sight. If he will regain it in full or only part of it is still uncertain, but my heart goes out to him. This is his thing, it is what he does, he is an artist. A visual artist.

He was talking about being grateful for the ordinary that allows us to lead such extraordinary lives.
"It is easy and seemingly natural for us to lament all we do not possess, while hardly registering the innumerable natural advantages that make our everyday lives possible and worthwhile."

Six years ago I fell deathly ill. During one very dark night I felt I might not recover. I was sad for my family, my children but I was enraged , furious, that I had not allowed myself the chance to paint . It was one of those things that I had set aside , an indulgence, until I had enough time/energy/space ( oh, the excuse list was endless! ) to devote myself to painting. I had let myself down and I knew it.

But, I did not die, I lived. I remember recovering very slowly , focussing on how my life would be different, grateful beyond reckoning for this second chance. I carry that gratitude with me and I remember that dark night' anguish whenever I become frustrated with my progress or some trifling in my life. I stop often, I smell lots of flowers, I admire many views and I do not hang around negativity or allow it to hang around me.Above all, I paint. I love painting. I think back to those times whenever I am at some kind of crossroads and gain instant clarity of what it is I want to do and be. That dreadful time, in retrospect, was a gift.

The recent Boston Marathon attack was just a reminder. What happens to a runner when his legs are blown off? What happens to an artist when he loses his sight?

Please have a look at David's work, it is beautifull.


My parents leave in a few days time and I shall miss them terribly. I imagined them driving home, past the the informal settlements of the Cape, to their home and their lives. So I painted this.

Informal settlement
oil on paper

1 comment:

  1. David's work is absolutely beautiful, thanks for sharing — let's hope he recovers soon.
    The 'Informal Settlement' is exactly how it is.
    I (amongst many others) am glad you lived!


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