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Row, Row, Row Your Boat. . .

Today, I am focusing on the eternal nature of change. We cannot hide from it.  We cannot avoid it. We cannot successfully run from it.  Sometimes we like it; other times we hate it. We cannot control the outcome even if we are the catalyst for change.  Like rowing a boat in the ocean, we have paddles but the waves rule supreme. We might consider a sturdier vessel when we embark on ocean journeys. Or maybe we have no choice; the storms cometh & all we have is a rowboat. We are called upon to solve a gritty problem with little other than determination. Praise strong paddles and a courageous heart. Trust: creativity springs eternal!


Paraphrasing the writer Julia Cameron, ‘The best solutions rarely come to pass swiftly. Time as well as distance may be necessary to the proper unfolding of events’ She says, “…honoring the longer view, I surrender my sense of urgency & frustration. I allow life to unfurl as a gentle wave…”


Whoa boy! That resonates! Right?   It’s a thorny issue all of us contend with at one time or another.  Life gallops on thru joyful celebrations, sad events, disappointing outcomes, crushing losses, painful transitions. Stopped in our tracks; other people are catching buses, racing cars, building houses, managing governments, praising waiters, fighting wars, making art …outpacing us. Will we ever catch up? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… Nooooo!


What Julia Cameron alludes to is that it is okay simply to let go. Life isn’t a race. Even race car drivers pause to change tires, gas up, drink water. While we pause to reassemble our lives, integrating life changes, we do not lose ground. All race car drivers must stop during the race to refuel, etc. It’s just part of the deal (as Indy 500).  Surrendering, life unfurls ‘as gentle as a wave’. Acceptance is the key. Letting go is a Buddhist concept aimed at experiencing happiness in life. We cannot be free as long as we are holding on for dear life!


This is true in the studio as well.  Interrupted from regular studio habits, coming back is a startling thing to feel the beginner again!  I’ve heard many artists echo this sentiment. Yet, in this awkward return, as we assemble tools, an eagerness to jump back into the arena surprises. Excitement is easily ignited. When aesthetic changes, we can embrace that as well. Curiosity appears - to see what will emerge. The core is still there.We are reminded, it is an unfolding process, not only in art but in life.


Right now, for me, my work is looser, softer, and sends me away from the canvas earlier (less over working). Trust in the process. That is a key. Make a mark, accept it, make another one. Feel the burn.


I need reminding about this. Always. That’s why I write about it.  How about you?


In acceptance,



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