Our lives are a collection of stages, phases, and chapters. Your life story is made up of detailed thick and thin sections. The narrative at times can be mild and uneventful but sometimes incredibly complex and complicated.
Some chapter titles might read:
“Why this? Why all at once?”
“Needy, tired, and hurting”
“Joy feels elusive”
“What needs more, what needs less?”
“Light a candle"
…others might read…
“You know there is something more for you”
“What is your legacy?”
“Feed the ducks”
“Heaven on Earth”
Your life builds on your past but unfolds your future. - anonymous
I am trying to show up for my art practice on a regular basis. What is the art story I want to tell? An artist's body of work can be a visual story of what and where an artist has been but it is also a narrative of where their heart and spirit have resided.
If I were to title my book I would call it "Faith and Optimism: My True North". Painting has helped me clarify my true north…it authenticates what I value. God, Love, Family, Friendship, Community, Nature, Sunshine, Music, Books, Integrity, Loyalty, Honesty. These values are common themes in my art and blog posts and how I navigate my world. They are recurring threads of thought and calming reminders of what each chapter of my life has taught me or what I merit spending my time on.
Your true north is unique to you. It is an internal compass. The definition of the word compass includes the descriptor “the range or scope of something”. It helps you with what direction to take, it gives you insight and a point of view. Isn’t our life journey a collection of paths, detours, and crossings?
Why are we so impatient that we’re wishing away the present moment? To find our “true north” we need a little perspective. Sometimes perspective is only available when we have decades of trial and error behind us. Occasionally our perspective requires us to be more adventurous, and willing to try something new.
Inspiration for this blog post comes from the recent graduation of our youngest child from high school. How can she be eighteen already!! Each of our three young adults is drafting what they think their future looks like. I want them to know that writing your life story takes a lot of rough drafts, rewriting, editing, and patience.
It is extremely difficult to formulate a story in the past, present and future tense. We are not born with an outline or a table of contents to follow. The structure of a book is never composed in perfect order. (Book Cover, Title Page, Copyright, Table of Contents, Dedication, Foreword, Prologue, Epilogue.)
You are the protagonist – your milieu, your supporting characters, and the events that take place are the beginning, middle, and end of your story.
We often lose perspective regarding our life, our work, and our enjoyment. The only way to make our dreams a reality is to know that what we are presently doing is currently what is most important. This includes the periods of our lives that are full of joy, full of sorrow, and all the moments in between.
From an eternal perspective, this story ends well.
Keep the Faith.