As I’ve written previously, I started on a creative journey pretty soon after the pandemic hit and we all went into lockdown. (I also turned to gardening, so I’ll probably write about that on here as well. Our tomatoes went crazy and I’ve also turned to canning in order to keep up with my crazy tomato plants!)
Like crocheting, I have found painting to be a very meditative process. It allows me to focus on something other than the many thoughts swirling in my head. A high school friend had painted some whimsical insects and I commented on them. She told me about Tamara Laporte at Willowing Arts who had just launched a taster session called Kaleidoscope, which offered about two weeks worth of free art lessons. Obviously, the hook is to get you interested in the free lessons in order to hopefully get you to sign up for the full course, which I subsequently did. From Kaleidoscope, I heard about Lifebook and it is there that I heard about Effy at Effy Wild. She offers weekly journal prompts and so all of the above is to say that today’s post is answering her journal prompt.
Explore hope in your art journal. What are you hoping fo right now? How can you represent that? What does hope feel like in your body? How can you express that?
(So obviously, I’m not doing this in an art journal (I plan to buy one or a few for next year), but thought this would be a good topic to explore.)
I’m going to take this to a micro then macro level. Hope feels me with wistfulness. It means to me that I long for something to be true even if it may not materialize. The sensations I feel in my body can be described as an anxiousness that is not necessarily the bad kind of anxious. I also feel optimism that what I hope will be true because most of the time, my hopes are the things that are generally within my control. Right now, what I hope for is that I will get to see my grandkids over the holidays. This should happen as we try to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. Even though my husband and I travel, when we return from traveling, we automatically self-quarantine for the requisite fourteen days. We also wear masks, observe social distancing to the extent possible, use hand sanitizer religiously and don’t hang around in large crowds.
I also hope that my parents continue to remain healthy and don’t come down with COVID. Their age and their health puts them at heightened risk if they were to get it. My mom had to be tested this past week as she had some of the symptoms (which are also typical of a cold), so we are waiting for the results of that. I just want all of those that I love from my parents, kids to grandkids, to friends to all remain healthy through this crisis. I don’t want to lose anyone and so this hope is one that creates anxiety because I cannot control what happens to my loved ones.
On a more macro level, I’m hopeful that we will have a vaccine sometime next year. That with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that our country will start repairing itself from the damage created by the current president and his GOP enablers (he who shall not be named on this blog). I’m hopeful that we will return to a more loving country and return to the ideals that have been set forth in our constitution. (Unfortunately, we have never, even gotten close to achieving these ideals.)
What is your relationship with hope? Do you embrace it, even when what you hope for seems impossible? Or do you reject it for fear of being disappointed? If you let yourself fully hope for something, what would that feel like?
I’ve been one who most people view as optimistic and one with a can-do attitude. I’ve always tried to approach life from the viewpoint that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to. Hope is what drove me to go back to school with three young children, it is what drove me to pursue each pathway in my career, it is what drove me to try to save my marriage, it is what helped me through the dating process and finally, to say yes to marriage to my new husband (even though I was really, really scared about being hurt again). The biggest disappointment was the end of my marriage and yet for six months, I had hope that it would work out in the end. The fact that it didn’t was a huge learning process for me because it taught me that as much as YOU may want something, sometimes it doesn’t happen and while you may have scars and emotional bruising, in the end how you choose to deal with that disappointment will define how you deal with any major disappointment in life.