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Day 44

 

Brought my newly repainted chair to the paint store twice today. Sometimes it's the shear having to load and unload it that is daunting. I'd really rather not bother. Then I think about how I'd really rather not carry the burden of Fear either, yet I still do. So I load and unload and carry the chair.

 

While waiting for two gallons of house paint to get mixed, I walked around the corner and got a bagel for breakfast. The place was hopping. A good vibe buzzed in there. I saw people take notice of the chair. Of me as I walked in. I placed my order. Stood waiting. One woman looked long at the chair then smiled at me. Then I heard from the direction of the people still waiting to order, "I just have to ask you about the chair." 

 

I told her my story, which I realized later needs to change a bit. I am not carrying the chair until I no longer need to carry the burden of my Fear. I will carry the chair until my Fear is no longer a burden that keeps me sitting out on life. There is a difference. Again, my purpose is not to get rid of Fear or conquer it. I realized my error in expressing myself because she asked me if I've gotten a lot of advice on how to get rid of my Fear. But I didn't notice the relationship to my story until later. 

 

Anyway, I asked her if she had any advice. She directed me to some good authors and books. Some of which I've read, others, not. I told her though that I've read quite a bit about life and fear (some good ones: "Art and Fear," "The Gift of Fear," "Addicted to Danger" to name a few) but reading is one thing, creating a metaphor that I carry around is completely different. It takes me down into the Fear/s rather than just medicating. Like cleaning out an infected leg before bandaging it. I think I've bandaged myself in my Fearfulness quite a lot in my life. And it workded. I've continued to walk quite fine through life. But there has always been a niggling, deep pain that went with me and kept me from dancing as much as I believe I can in life. It's kept me sitting out. So, the I am digging and cleaning.

 

She asked me what I am finding I am afraid of. I laughed and told her, "Far more than I thought originally. I began this feeling I'd maybe carry it a couple weeks, maybe a month at most. I didn't think I had THAT much Fear." But here I am day 44 and still hauling it around. She said, "like what?" I said the big stuff, like taking up space on this planet. She's Buddhist, and I wonder if that's why that Fear didn't register. Her face went a little blank. I said, "visibility." I wish I had said "worthiness," for that is at the root of my Fear about visibility. and really, the Fear of being unloveable is the even deeper tap-root. But I didn't say that. She said, she was asked if she could have a super power, what would it be and she said hers would be "invisibility." I've heard a story on by John Hodges (I referred her to the backlog of "This American Life" to hear it) where he writes about asking people if they had a super-power, either invisibility or flight, what would they choose. It's a good story. I should listen to it again.

 

What this taught me is that I am still afraid to really engage with people. I am worried they don't feel heard so I am so busy listening to them that I don't play my part. Like an actor too focused on her cue, I forget to put myself into the role. This woman was the first person to really challenge me about the chair though. I have to say, I am surprised it has taken so long. But I am glad it is finally happening. I need to do more than just carry it. I need to be thinking and talking about it and answering tough questions. And, let's face it the toughest questions won't come from me. They're going to come from someone who believes they have some answers for me. They're going to come from someone who thinks this FCP is bullshit. They're going to come from someone who doesn't know or give a crap about me. Not that this woman was harsh, she was lovely, but it was clear she didn't know anything about me and so she felt very confident really pushing me. Also, it seemed she was very ready with her answers about what I should read regarding Fear. 

 

She was ready to grapple with me and my chair and I pulled out easy answers to her questions. She had a bit of an agenda and I willingly laid myself out for her to feel good about having something to give me. I was "nice." I have great disdain for people who are "nice." Yet here I am, playing it safe, trying to help someone feel good about herself when what she also seemed obviously very strongly capable of was wrestling with a complete stranger over something that really mattered. I wimped out. Shit. This is me. I back down. I play "nice." I make sure others feel good at the expense of being real with them. 

 

I must be clear I don't always play "nice." I can be quite headstrong and a bit overbearing sometimes. But when it is about something deeply meaningful and potentially tumultuous, I tend to put taking care of others before being true to myself. 

 

Anyway, later I had a conversation with a coworker about rock climbing. I need to write about how learning to and doing rock climbing got me over a significant phobia about spiders and and fear of heights. Not tonight though. I must sleep. 


Day 43

 

 "Struggling with fatigue. Struggling with Fears. Struggling with my Why. I thought I knew my Why; but between this challenge, the Fear Chair Project and managing a house painting job, I feel like I am walking in a fog looking for myself. This isn't a bad thing. It is uncomfortable as, well, not hell, I've been there; but it IS very uncomfortable. Right now is full of do-ing; but I am grateful for the thread of mindfulness." This is part of what I posted for the 30 in 30 challenge (Day 9). 


Today was a rough day. 9 hours of cutting in on the house. Tomorrow we begin painting the body of the house. Woohoo! I spent a few hours cutting in on a brick surface. Painting brick is highly irritating to me . First, I do not like painted brick, second, painting brick includes rough surfaces and lots of holes to be filled, all very much ruining a brush. Whine. It's been that kind of day. Today I also really felt  the pain of where I am right now in life (see above quote).


Then something came up from my past that had me living in the past while projecting to the future. I know better than to do this. It always results in negativity and pain. My daughter even told me this morning she had to tell someone yesterday she didn't want to reflect on the past because she was feeling anxiety, so she said, "I want to be distracted so I can get my mind off of my mind." I love this, and loved it when I heard it this morning. So why didn't I listen to it and keep my mind off my mind when the painful thoughts came up?


I think Fear is increased proportionate to my fatigue. Or, perhaps, rather, my ability to deal with my Fear decreases proportionate to the increase in exhaustion. Either way, right now, I'm wiped out; and Fears abound, looming large. I think this is the gift of the above mentioned "fog." I think it is a defense mechanism actually because life IS so overwhelming right now. I am embarked on numerous intense adventures simultaneously. Anxiety and Fears over outcomes would be natural. So, my psyche, noticing too that physically I am taxed beyond belief, has me covered in a fog of not-knowing. Sure, I can't see insights or answers, yet. But too, I don't see the monsters either which might otherwise discourage me or cause greater Fear. My present is in a fog. 


Perhaps this is why I was so in my mind of the past and future. The present is so unclear except the preoccupation with massive do-ing. Probably so. Crap. That is hard. I love being mindful and present. It, hmmm.... I will hold the image of myself in the safety, if uncomfortableness of the fog. I don't think I've ever done that for myself. I will comfort myself and allow myself to be here. Today. Now. And see what comes of it. 


Related, I wanted to note the comment I made last night about choosing to focus on living instead of focussing on fears around aging. That was a cool insight. To me it is a sign that I AM focusing on the present more. I do know growing older is very challenging, and I do from time to time fear the prosepect of if not the reality of aging. I'm 51. But  I cannot forget two things my mentor told me years ago when he was in his 70s, "any day I am upright is a good day." and "growing old sucks but it is better than the alternative." He was a man who died living. THAT is what I want to do. For much of my youth, I'd say I "lived dying," In recent years and for today, I choose to live fully this experience of my time on this planet. 


Fears? I have a few, and they do often weigh me down, but I am hopeful my sitting out on life because of it/them, is waning. I am tempted to say, "I just have to finish this damn house painting;" but that is all part of this time, this day, in my life as well. 

 

So, I sat with my chair tonight and repainted the seat. Then I doodled a bit on it as well. I am not a doodler, which i think is odd for an artist. I've had a real block about doodling. So, over the past 6 months I've been purposefully training myself to doodle. Still, it is difficult, so I will listen to the Fear as I doodle on the chair.

 

Here's the renewed seat BTW;



Day 42

 

So, I was standing in line waiting to get a cup of coffee and something I wouldn't have to refridgerate or heat up for lunch (been so busy living fully that grocery shopping has fallen sadly behind,...) when the gentleman infront of me completed his order and turned to ask about the chair I'd seen him glance at a few times. Funny, he needed to order his coffee before he asked about it. Anyway, I told him my quick story about the chair. He'd started as if he had a story written in his head already, "So, you make a lot of little things you carry around with you?" 

Hahaha, "Well, I AM and artist and I did paint this," answering but not buying into whatever story, "and I take it wherever I go."

Head-cocked to the side like my little dog when he hears a significant word, "Really...why is that." 

"Well, I discovered I carry a lot of Fear within me and so I created this chair as a symbol of that and I have to carry it everywhere until I no longer need to carry the Fear."

He was a rather handsome man in his late 30s I'd say. Very well dressed. Very professional-looking. He looked me in the eyes, "reached up and very gently but with a strength cupped my arm with his hand, "that is so beautiful." he said.

"Thank you." I said. And he turned to pick up his coffee and make room for me to order.

 

Later I was telling my husband the story and then I said, "you know, nobody touches eachother anymore in our culture. I think we're afraid to touch. It was so nice. Such a warm gestrure." Then it occurred to me to add, "but of course, he may have seen me as a gray-haired old grandma so I was safe!" My husband and I both roared with laughter at this. When we stopped, he said, "Well at least you can laugh about it." 

"Yeah, well, I think I have to."

 

Still, whatever the motivation or "story" for the man, the gesture was very sweet, and rare anymore in our world. I feel very gifted by the experiences the FCP is giving me. The encounters with people. The responses. The connections. It's good for me. My Fear of visibility used to make me so very shy and so very sad really. Lonely and feeling like I was a failure and would always fail at life. Sometimes I was aware of these feelings but sometimes they were buried deep beneath the masks or dramas I created to hide Fears. Sometimes I was only aware of the sadness. Sometimes my sadness became anger directed at whomever or whatever I wanted to be responsible other than me for my misery. This project, better than any therapy I've had, is drawing not only my Fear out of me; but is also drawing ME out of myself as a result.

 

I think it's partly because I have something in common with everyone. My chair is a difference. It sets me apart. I think we all feel we are different from others or we Fear we are different from others in some way. Sure everyone is at 7 billion different places in their self-acceptance, but even if one has experienced enlightenment, if they are human, they at sometime or another felt -- apart from. Different. And suffered a little or a lot because of it. The chair is perhaps my symbol of the human condition I find myself in. And don't we all encounter eachother in the same condition?

 

I just realized, I don't dye my hair and it is quite gray (started  graying at 18). The last time I was waiting for a plane, there were a couple hundred people at the gate and several dozen women in their 40's - 70's I'd say and out of all, only 3 women had visibly gray hair. It is so common to color now. The Fear of aging, or looking as if we are aging is a big one. Though I don't color, I know the Fear. I just choose to practice living as my first focus rather than avoiding aging. BTW, my gray hair also stands out as a difference I suppose. Something that makes me apart from. And I do feel the challenge of being different in this but it is all part of the big Fear I carry in the chair. Just having gray hair wouldn't be the metaphor the chair is though, who wants to turn to the woman in line and ask, "so, what's with the gray hair?"

 

It is good to be able to laugh.


Day 41

 

a.m. 

Feeling very exposed in this blog. The past few days feel to touch on very deeply personal Fear issues. Too Ihave to admit, I have not proof-read my blogs until last night (as you quite likely have noticed, haha, lots of errors) because I was afraid to. I have an aversion to proof-reading my own writing, always have. Not that I don't EVER do it, but when it is something particularly exposing, it is hard for me to go back through it and catch grammatical errors as well. It feels like sprinkling salt on flayed skin. Anyway, now that I have humbly admitted this folly (Fear) and have last night (after 40 days!) moved through it. I promise I will proof-read. Not saying it will be perfect; but I will try to make it more articulate and hopefully pleasant to read.


Omigod, you poor readers, I just proofed that paragraph and found SO many errors! What a fool Fear makes one out to be!


p.m.

Had some time to just sit and look at my Fear Chair in a coffeshop today. Yeah, it'll do. I ended up not painting on it today as I'd thought I would. I was so tired from the week that I just gave myself a leisurely time in the studio working on day 7 of 30 for the painting challenge. I will likely paint the chair one day this week as my piece for one of the 30 in 30; but today I did just have a hankering to paint water. So, water it was. 

 

I am noticing fearS surrounding my artwork are coming up because of this challenge. Right now I am afraid I will never find my niche as an artist. My techniques are moving toward impressionist but I still so love the occasional representational painting. I am thinking I need to apply what I know in representational to what I want to be able to do in impressionism such as blending. Yet do I really want to blend in my impressionist renderings? Or do I just want to improve my strokes? Who am I as a painter? I used to just be a painter, now I feel a need to identify with a specific technique or motif. I feel so all over the place. My 7 paintings this week reflect that. 

 

For now I'll just keep painting each day and see where I go and what I learn. Like the FCP, among other things, this is a one day at a time thing for now and to expect anything else is just "interest on borrowed trouble." Gotta let go and just move forward.

 


Day 40

 

Saturday, and another 8 hours of house painting at a client's but the trim-work is ALL done! scraping, bondo, sanding, primer, two coats of color. Whew! Monday we begin cutting in on the body of the house. It is 10:39 and I am wiped out.


Came home and painted my 6th painting for the 30 in 30 challenge. Somewhere in the middle of painting, just when I thought I might be close to finished, I realized I hated it. I've given myself permission to not love or even like everything I paint but I really want to at least not hate the paintings I do for this challenge. So, I had a talk with the Universe (basically, "How do YOU make clouds look so great?" then listened. lol) Turns out the Universe is not afraid to use white in clouds AND, it's not afraid to "paint" BIG shapes. This is what I learned. My offering misses the mark a bit I think but it's not terrible. Perhaps worthy of further work in future. It's day 6 and finally I am beginning to listen to lessons in the painting of these pieces. I am afraid to use white AND I am afraid of big solid-color shapes. Hmmmm.... We'll see where that realization leads me. I'll have to practice perhaps making big white shapes. lol.


Anyway, Fear, Fear, Fear,... Today for some reason, Fear seems closer. Or bigger. I realized today that my Fear is SO much more difficult to bear when it involves people I love than when it seems to be mine alone or seems to be in response to people who I am not particularly (or at all) close to. Sometimes I trip over my Fear, bump into things/people, with it, hurt myself or others whom I love; simply because I bear great Fear  or fearS in my relationships with them. Is this because I have expectations about what those relationships should look like? Hmmm, probably that is exactly it. With people I am not close to, relationships can be much more fluid and flexible. Stick a relationship with a name closer to home and suddenly, even though I really really try not to have expectations ("expectations are interest on borrowed troubles" my then 80 year-old mentor used to tell me) I can't help feel ing a tensing in my psyche when the person makes a choice that doesn't fit with what would work best for me in a given situation. 


How would I identify that "tensing"? I'd say it's Fear that someone isn't behaving in a way that fits my expectations. Crap. No wonder Fear feels closer or bigger. I think I need to reflect on this a bit. I haven't painted on the chair in a number of weeks. I've been thinking about adding something but just haven't gotten around to it. I think I haven't painted it yet because it isn't yet true. However, I do think I need to paint something on it about expectations. Hm... Not sure what that will be; but I need to carry  on the chair an image of the burden of my expectations and the Fear/S that drive/s them. 


So, what IS the Fear/S that drive/s them? Hmmm,....yikes. Loss of control comes to mind immediately. And what is Fear of loss of control REALLY about? Wellllllllll,....perhaps about a fear of descent into chaos. And,....what would happen if I descended into chaos? My first thought is, "I'd turn it into an art lesson," I love creative chaos and love to teach people how to embrace it. So, why do I Fear chaos? I guess it has to do with a lack of a basic belief in myself. I am afraid "this time" I won't come up with the creative solution and all hell will break loose. All hell basically meaning ultimately that I will be alone. Unloved and unloveable because I couldn't do the thing I needed to do to keep things in control and moving in a way that makes sense according to whatever nebulous design created by who knows.

 

The origins of the creation of expectations really are that goofy.  "Whatever nebulous design created by who knows." I mean, who decides what a partnership or a parent/child or child/parent or grandchild/grandparent or marriage relationship involves? Sure, sociologically there are trends but, really, those are pretty broad. My expectations tend to be p r e t t y specific. Specific, I suppose due to many things, role models in my childhood, what I see in media, whom I admire, how I feel about myself. Yeah. Bingo. How I feel about myself.

 

So, earlier in the week, as I mentioned I think in my 30 in 30 challenge post from last night, someone suggested I do a painting series based on what makes me loveable. I tried it last night and tonight, I tried NOT to do it, but as it turns out (read tonight's 30 in 30 description) I did anyway. I am thinking perhaps one way around this Fear thing is to better know my strengths. I mean, carrying the chair IS physically strengthening, I need to explore the specifics of the strengthening that is going on inside too. And name it.

SO, on one side of the balance, I have Fear (spiders, visibility, of being unloved and unloveable and alone). On the other, I am beginning to build my list. I also (I learned from the past 2 nights of painting) contain at least 2 qualities that make me loveable: I am earnest; and I am turbulent-and-beautiful. Ok. An idea for what will be painted on the chair next is beginning to take shape....

 

 


Day 39

 

Someone requested I post a pic of the Fear-Chair and I said I would "very first thing" tonight. So, while I am not going to write anything until later, I DO have time to post this:


 

Back again, it's about an hour later than when I posted the photo. Sitting in bed. Thoroughly exhausted from another full day of painting prep-work and actual painting on the house we are working on getting all painted by September 25th. I've been posting some about this on my "30 in 30 challenge" in the daily descriptions of each painting I'm doing. I didn't post there however, something I told my husband tonight. I realized that, yes, I AM thoroughly and bone tired with the days of painting and prep-work, still keeping up with what I can get done at home, catering every other weekend, painting one piece every day for 30 days (a friend is keeping up with the percentages and today I am 17.5% finished with this challenge!!!), while also carrying a Fear-Chair every freaking place I go! YES, I am tired. The big BUT though is that I haven't felt so fully alive in many many years. And for this I am deeply grateful. This fact has been niggling at my consciousness for the past couple of days and finally I can articulate it. So too I can see that this is what carries me through the days of relentless added prep-tasks (if you've ever painted an old house you'll know that the more you fix, the more fixin' that shows itself needing to be done), early mornings (to get started early, when it's cool so the paint doesn't coagulate on the brush or board), long days (take care of animals, head to work, head home, take care of animals & family & home, paint a painting, post painting, blog), hauling of the Fear Chair (insert in every one of previous parentheses items "carry Fear-Chair) and the fear brought up by waking to another round of the same until September 25th when this house is due to be completed. Oh,... yeah, and I heard today that rain is on the way next week, which we badly need and for which I am grateful yet, oy....

 

Anyway, the feeling of truly and fully living life is a wonderful gift, and it does carry one through quite a lot of what, really goes into making it a time of fully living. That is, the effort it takes to experience as fully as possible the opportunities that show up in life. So, to identify the experience related to living life fully, I'd say, I am feeling gratitude, joy, peace, harmony, love, compassion, abundance, exaustion, fear, sorrow, a pinch of anger. So, really, what I am experiencing is really the total NOW. (I haven't any einergy to feel beyond now in either direction - past or future) Wow, cool. Again, I feel grateful....

 

I've been clinically depressed a total of 3 times in life. The last time was over 20 years ago, but one never forgets. I don't dwell on those episodes, nor really like to think too much about them; but I don't hesitate to draw upon them when the opportunity arises. Tonight, I must say, coming from what seemed years ago to be a destiny of chronic depression to seeing that G.U.S.S. (someone asked me to explain this today - G.U.S.S. is what, years ago I found myself realizing my God's name is -- "God, Universe ,Spirit ,Source") and I can collaborate to create a present that fills me with a sense of living fully astounds me.

 

So, the Fear-Chair? It stays. I am not done with it. It is a big part of this now that I am living. A big part of this full-living. I still have much to learn about Fear, about my Fear. Living fully does not cure one of Fear. Nor does carrying a Fear-Chair for that matter. "Cure" isn't really the right word anyway. I am not after a "cure," or an eradication. I really am simply on a journey. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a pilgrimage. Now is a good time in the journey. A hard time; but a good time. I am seeing a lot of beautiful sites/sights that feed my soul along the long arduous path. And, I know there is more. around the bend, over the next hill, in the next challenging place the chair must go. Or simply in the act of carrying the chair. I must say, on these full and exhausting days, the physical act of loading and unloading the chair in and out of the car and the act of carrying it along with all that I often need to carry is in itself quite a task. Sometimes I really would very much rather just not have to physically pick the thing up. I am SO tired. But, I harken back in my head to the notion of the strengthening. Even when I don't understand a challenging task, to meet it is strengthening and that sometimes is enough to carry me until enlightenment comes along.


Day 38

 

All day I've been telling people it's been 37 days that I have been carrying the chair. Hmmm. Also today I forgot the chair for the second time. I met my husband for a quick cup of coffee before going on to meet up with a friend and I forgot to take the chair out of the car! Wow.... Hmm...

 

Anyway, had a great conversation with my gastroenterologist about the chair. I was afraid to take it into the Dr.'s office because they can sometimes be a bit intimidating anyway but I took it in and he was great. He had lots of questions, got the whole story and was very enthusiastic about the project. Also impressed that it'd been "37" days. (I am having a follow up check on an adenoma that was removed in my duodenum - ie. upper endoscopy).

 

I don't really have much to note tonight. I am very tired. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks and today was a busy day off. I did a lot off the stuff around the house that I've been putting off and then painted my day 4 of the 30 in 30 challenge. Well, first I painted a crap painting I just needed to get out of my system. Then I painted the real painting. It's of the old woodshed on my parent's farm. I love that old building but like many of the old farm buildings, it has been left to the Minnesota elements without repair and so is falling down. Felt good to painted it. Respectful of it's history. It's probably 100 years old.

 

I met with my friend Carol today. As always, we had a great time exploring life. The part I want to note here was when I talked about carrying the chair up the hill walking the dog and seeing my shadow. I told Carol this was very humbling then I mixed in the word "humiliation" as I talked about it. She is a master word-smith. Very few people I have met can consistently use the precise word every utterance to express what it is they are trying to express. Carol is one of those people (my daughter is too). It strikes me often-times how delightful it is to hear people like Carol speak. Well today she explored and took me along with her, the words Humility and Humiliation. And in the end we both agreed they really have nothing to do with eachother in terms of meaning. Humility, she said is a word of gratitude. It's a beautiful word. While Humiliation is painful and tragic, shame-based. The word Humiliation really should not be from the root Humility at all. 

 

I liked that. I have always loved the word Humility. It is a deeply spiritual word in my mind; and it does relate to gratitude. While, yes, humiliation is judgement, ridicule, shame. 

 

The Fear Chair is about humility, not humiliation. It is about gratitude too really. Someone today assured me she is making a change in life "without fear." She emphasized this as she looked at my chair. I know people still look at the chair and at me as if I have all this tremendous amount of Fear and just need to let it go or something. But the Chair, again, is not just about letting go of Fear. It is about doing what artists do, we take what is inside and we get it out. We make it seen. I am taking the burden of Fear that I carry inside (and have all my life) and express it through the chair. And really, I LOVE the chair. Does that mean I LOVE my Fear? Perhaps I do. Perhaps I am learning to have compassion for myself, for my Fear and am finding that I can love that part of me too. I've never felt that before. I've pitied myself in my fearS and in my Fearfulness; but I have never held Fearful self in Love and simply allowed it to be. I have never cared for my Fear. Carried it with care, like I carry the Chair. 

 

Does this mean I am "In Love" with my Fear or that I want to cuddle and coddle my Fear? No, of course not. It simply means I - am - allowing  me to be more whole. I am not running or hiding or stuffing a part of myself I used to feel humiliated (shame) about. I think it will become a much smaller monster because I have befriended it. It already has.


Day 37

 

The Chair was well-travelled today again and well noticed also. In the paint store one of the counter people asked why I always bring it with me. In a Starbucks I sometimes stop in for a work break, the three baristas gathered when the woman waiting on me finally asked why I bring the chair. They were lovely (I should draw them actually) all crowded behind the one register, eyes widening, smiles appearing when they got it. They were sweet. They encouraged me and said I was very brave. When two of them went back to work, the woman waiting on me asked if I'd heard about the woman at a university who carries her bed with her every day until the man who raped her on it is expelled or quits. Wow. We agreed this was a powerful image and seems like it would help the woman feel her own power and courage in the wake of devastation.

 

As I'd walked into the Starbucks, I had heard the 5 or six people who were sitting outside. I didn't really listen but it's hard not to hear the word "Chair" when I walk by. I heard it muttered several times as I passed. I was on a quick work break so I didn't pause but went quickly about my business. I did however meet several eyes inside as is my new practice. People do look at me, or at my chair. Perhaps this had something to do with the barista's comfort level in finally asking about it. was comfortable with it, so they became a bit more-so as well. Anyway, after I got my coffee (plus one for our worker, that was a trick, figuring out how to carry it all -- easy, put them on the seat and carry it like a gift!), I headed out the door. I passed the table of whisperers quickly again, thoughts on work (and not spilling). A gentleman spoke up and asked if I'd made the chair. I stopped. They were curious about the chair because as I'd passed they all had thought of a fundraiser in Portland called "The Chair Affair," at which chairs which have been created by artists (built or painted or whatever) are auctioned off for a non-profit called The Community Warehouse that helps families in need. After hearing my story they wondered if I would consider donating the chair for the auction. Wow! I was honored and delighted! I have since visited the website and am very excited by this idea! Just today I had an idea about what will be painted on the chair next and ultimately how the chair will look. If I donate it however, I am thinking I may paint a twin with a different word on the seat (I'm not telling).

 

As I excused myself and thanked the people at the table, the woman closest to me said, "You are very courageous. " Omigosh! I bowed to her and said  "Thank you, I am working on it." Then she added, "You are an inspiration." "Wow," I said, "Thank you again," I said, and "You all take care!" Then headed off to finish up the 8 hours of painting prep on a house my husband and I and a friend are going to have finished by the 25th of September. Those encounters were just the vitamin I needed to bolster me through a day of added tasks we hadn't counted on that the owner wanted done. My schedule was thrown out the window for the day; but all was well.

 

Got home and practiced process-painting for my third day of the 30 in 30 challenge. I was so exhausted it was the best way to let G.U.S.S. take over most of the work, :) while I just squeezed tubes, dipped and brushed. I am happy with it. Process-painting is actually VERY difficult for me. I am a thinker and a judger when it comes to my own painting process so the "paint whatever you want to paint, no judgements, no expectations" of process-painting is super hard. The only two process-painting workshops I've attended, I've sobbed within 15 minutes of starting. Not because I'd judged my painting and found it lacking but because the prospect of allowing when it comes to art has been so squelched in me (by others or myself it really matters not) that finally allowing myself to allow makes me break down in public. 

 

So tonight I did finish the painting and I like it but I see that it is really only a beginning. It is a fun concept. The title is "Sunshine Struggling to Organize a Rainbow." Something in the struggle, eh?