Waiting for paint to dry is very hard for me. I work on several paintings at a time to occupy the space of waiting. That space in between actions seems like inefficiency or non-productivity and I feel compelled to make up for it by doing some other action. I like to make the most of my time, is what I tell myself. However, I have come to understand this need for action is not beneficial in certain circumstances. I see that I am limiting myself by not appreciating or always being present with the percolating possibilities in waiting. As of lately, I am cultivating my inner turtle. I am cultivating slowness. I am cultivating patience. Or a better way of saying it is… I am allowing time and life to carry me. And I must say that it is an incredibly light way of living.
February is a good month for patience as, depending on where you are, winter drags on and spring is slowly awakening. Nature and life are showing me how to wait, be present, and allow beauty to unfold. It’s not something I don’t know, but it is definitely something I forget to practice. As with anything, action can be a habit, addiction or crutch, and I’m just used to being productive. Yet, somewhere deep inside, like a spring bulb waiting to bloom, I know there is beauty in waiting… and that beauty is well worth the wait. Waiting is acceptance of now, presence, and just being. In that stillness and waiting, life carries me. I feel it pick me up and take me with it, effortlessly. I exhale. I feel ten pounds lighter. I let go. I release my grip on the paintbrush and stand back to look. I release the destination and accept where I am. The painting and life are exactly how they are supposed to be in that moment. The paint is drying and life is moving forward in it’s own time. Who am I to think that is not good enough?
In reality, all my doing is just a façade. I think I am living life, yet I know life is actually living me. Life is the bigger one out of the two of us. I’m not sure how I often forget that. Someone I love, reminded me of that recently when he told me I need to work on patience. Now, I can honestly say… I don’t think I can work on patience… Instead…Patience is working on me… and I humbly surrender to its grandness. Patience has infused gratitude in me for everything that is in this moment. Patience has welled up inside me, filling that void I was trying to fill with so much action. Patience has allowed me to wait for inspiration to blossom. Most of all, patience has reminded me that life has its own time, far beyond what my mind can grasp.