Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"...life is for learning ..." / "What are you doing?" / Gratitude

Just found the following video today.  What a treasure!  I attended that performance in October of 2009:


That's my nephew, Lee, at 2:36, singing:

Well maybe it's the time of year
Well maybe it's the time of man
And I don't know who I am
But life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
We are billion-year-old carbon
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
(Joni Mitchell lyrics, 1970)

Some of you have already seen the above photo from 1971.   I had just turned 22 years old and felt much older than that.  My life had taken a dark turn.  It would be years before I would see any light in that darkness.  I had lessons to learn in the darkness.

At 63 years old (and feeling younger than that), I still have plenty to learn.  Even the darkest days now are so much lighter than they were in the years between 1971 and 1987.  It was in May of 1987, as I was traveling through Half Moon Bay, California, that there began to be light in that darkness.  My life took a turn that let the light in.  It was just as I was about to do something I had done many times before -- always expecting a positive result, always experiencing negative consequences.

A question came to my mind as I stopped my car a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean.  The question was like a koan because I couldn't come up with an answer.

My mind ceased talking, and I began listening for something in the darkness.

The question, as I recall it today, was, "What are you doing?"

Below is "Woman with Hands Full," in chalk pastel, watercolor and gouache, by am, from sometime around 1987 when light appeared in the darkness.

I'm grateful today for both the light and the darkness.  My life is full.


Sabine said...

How wonderful to read this - on a very grey and foggy day here.

bev said...

Yes, a wonderful post. It seems that the dark times may be for resting, learning, thinking. They don't last forever. There comes a time when we emerge at least somewhat transformed and a little wiser. I love your painting from 1987.

jarvenpa said...

Yes. My life, as you know perhaps, has had those turns as well.

And this year there were indeed dinosaurs wandering on their way to the creche. And a funny looking spotted dog made in Mexico years ago.

Love to you, my dear.

Anonymous said...

I love reading this and remembering the ambiance of the times.