The Caped Crusader (in orange) with his Second Mom and her "boys," as she called them. She loved these kids fiercely, and they stood by her side until the end.
This isn't how things were meant to play out.
December was supposed to be my gift to myself. Lots of unstructured studio time so that I could pursue and paint new ideas. Nothing but painting strictly for me and my galleries and a couple choice exhibitions.
But that's not what the universe had in mind.
I've been mourning the loss of an absolutely remarkable woman (The Caped Crusader's Second Mom, who passed away from ALS at the beginning of the month), trying to pull off two birthday celebrations in the midst of her funeral details, caring for sick kids (one of whom ended up in the ER Friday morning), and unexpectedly car shopping (in the midst of all this, my van was totaled, but what really matters is that all involved are physically ok). And there's all this other horrible heartache and tragedy in our world, too. It's not just my own little bubble that's suffering.
A wise friend told me we're coloring with all the dark crayons in the box right now. I know there are lots of beautiful colors in my box just waiting. But this time of year, when my heart is not feeling much joy, and it's in such opposition to how I usually embrace the holidays, well, I'm struggling to allow myself permission to accept what I'm feeling despite what society says I should be doing. To be authentic even when it's contrary.
I caught myself subconsciously painting in my head earlier this evening, as I watched the light play on a young lady's face. I used to do that, paint in my head, nonstop. It was kind of a sickness I couldn't turn off, but it's been gone for awhile now. I suppose It'll come back when it's ready. But I welcomed tonight's mental painting with open arms - I'll take it as a sign of progress.
And meanwhile I ask for your patience with my absence - perhaps take it upon yourself to throw a little more holiday cheer out than usual, to make up for my lackluster spirits. I don't doubt that you, too, know someone who is struggling to enjoy their own holiday.
And hug those you love - we are losing so many for such stupid reasons. Celebrate your families and friends and count those blessings.
And know that, even if you aren't feeling "ho ho ho" ish (yes, that's a word, I just said so), that's ok too. As that same wise friend told me, Christmas is SUPPOSED to be every day of the year. So pick up the pieces and celebrate whenever you feel ready to.