Brick and Mortar vs. Flesh and Blood – They Both require Care

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“Americana” 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas

I’m giving our villa “a dust up” in preparation for sale and asking myself “How would a potential buyer see this room, this painting, this piece of furniture or memorabilia?”

When I find something out-of-place or obtrusive, I have three choices:

  1. Put it in a Good Will box to be given away
  2. Place it in a container for “safe keeping”
  3. Dump it without regard for sentiment

Each item saved for Good Will must pass a certain test: Can it be cleaned? Would someone else be able to use this or is it just old junk?

The box for “safe keeping” holds stuff that a loved one has given me or that belonged to one of my parents or grandparents. I can’t throw these things away without feeling guilty. Besides, I might need some of them in our new place. I plan to put these things aside until nearer the actual move giving me a second chance to keep or to throw them away. In number three, some of the “dump” items may fall into this category.

In truth, I’m a sentimental saver. I have difficulty parting with gifts from loved ones even though they serve no logical purpose. And after a while, these items begin to clutter the walls and shelves and look like somebody’s junk to potential buyers seeing our home for the first time.

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“Moody Blues” 18 x 14 oil on canvas

These decisions can be painful. You soon discover what’s really of value and what’s simply ostentatious. Impulse buying adds an accumulation of stuff that makes its way to the dump box. You buy an item on sale, or someone else does and then gives it to you. In either case, you know you probably won’t miss any of it when it’s gone.

Wouldn’t it be great to give your body a clean sweep like this? You could keep only what adds real value to your life and cast away the rest. You could get rid of bad habits and regrets, put old grievances in a box and tape the lid shut, and finally focus on what’s important.

Gone are the “To Do” lists that were never finished, the half-made quilts, the dreams that got away. All could stop gathering dust in your closet and finally RIP at the bottom of some landfill for recycling. You could make a fresh start with more realistic goals and some well-defined dreams that come from deep inside of you instead of from peer pressure.

Once the cobwebs have been swept from your interior, you could start unearthing your most urgent needs and longings. Find out who you are and what you’re made of in the scheme of things.

What is your heart’s desire? Discover the spiritual roots of your personality and your divine nature. Discard the negative aspects of yourself that turn other people off. Scrub out the dingy coating that has crept inside and tarnished your luster. Let your hidden treasure shine through and regain your self confidence.

When all is said and done, your mortal body is the house you live in every day until “Death Do you part.” Then your immortal spirit is liberated from all physical encumbrances and restraints. Since you only live once, doesn’t it make sense to spend as much time getting your spiritual house in order as you spend on getting your physical house ready to sell to strangers?

The Cook

“The Cook” 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas

Interludes of Happiness are the Underpinnings that Strengthen the Soul

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“Americana” acrylic on canvas

Just when you think your life is on an even keel, something or someone wipes the gloat off your face and you’re down. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s this: Change is inevitable. Unpredictability is the norm.

The in between times when love seems never ending, when peace pervades your universe and you think nothing can go wrong that’s just when it does. Those prime times are short and fleeting. They come and go like breathing in and out. They arrive just before or shortly after a crisis.

Make the most of these tender moments because they never last. They are what memories are made of when we have nothing else to live for. These heavenly highs help relationships weather the uneven tides of emotion and anger. They give life zest and nourish a heavy heart.

"Kindred Spirits" 30 x 24 mixed media on canvas

“Kindred Spirits” 30 x 24 mixed media on canvas

Think of these pleasant pauses, these cherished nanoseconds as seeds. They can’t be saved or stored except in memory; but they can reside within us and provide a web of interconnecting fiber that can give our life structure and continuity. These interludes of happiness “relieve the darkness of the past and the gloom of the present.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Like a flickering light in the gloom of darkness, these seeds of joy gives us hope, sustain us, and keep our feet planted on solid ground even when all of life is crumbling around us. This kind of strength is what makes heroes out of common men. When a tragedy happens, they respond. They just do it, never thinking about the risks to their own mind or body nor their inhibitions and weaknesses.

Human capacity is never fully tested on this earth. Knowing that somewhere within us is the action needed to meet our convictions is reassuring. Manufacturers and engineers know all about tensile strength when it comes to machinery and materials. Tensile strength is all about the ability to be stretched or pulled out of shape before breaking. Even though human beings are not machines, they are still resilient and capable of super human fetes when necessary.

"With These Hands -- Wonder" oil on canvas

“With These Hands — Wonder” oil on canvas

These seeds of hope, faith, happiness and joy that grow to fruition within us make us stronger, more teachable, and more bendable. This ethereal structure helps us to endure sorrow, pain, anger, hatred, envy or the loss of a loved one, the failure of business or marriage. This foundation is what helps you get up when you fall, and why you take one step after another even though you don’t feel like walking or going anywhere.

Savor the good times. Remember them in the bad times. Make more of these moments every chance you get. This is the web or safety net that will give you courage when you need it the most and the resiliency to hold on a little longer when your heart is breaking.

Sea Swirls

“Sea Swirls” 24×18 acrylic on canvas

Change comes to all of us. Nothing stays the same. Ride the waves, my friend. Your life’s journey will sometimes lift you up and at other times slap you down in the grit of despair. Don’t give up in the heat of the moment. Coast and surf until you gain some traction. You will survive.

(This blog was delayed by the unforeseen, but it also gave me my subject matter.)