I posted this photo a last week and wrote that it made me want to dance or sing or paint. Since I’m not coordinated and I almost always sing the wrong lyrics in the wrong key I went with painting.
My daughters joined me and we painted. I picked up again the next evening. And the next. I like to paint. I struggle with perspective and anything that’s not completely flat. Depth is hard.
Depth in life can be difficult as well. It is hard to write past the surface. Clever quotes and funny memes abound. But this last week the news has been filled with shootings and alligators and politics and sorrow. I don’t have anything substantive to add to the gun control debate or immigration or terrorism or how to comfort strangers across the country. And so I said nothing. That doesn’t feel right either.
After a couple nights of painting, I emailed my painting in progress to my talented artist of an uncle and asked for advice. Frequently gaining any depth in life requires talking to people who’ve succeeded before you. Among other helpful tips, he suggested adding a barbed wire fence. Or an old red barn. I’ve found the painful things in my life tend to make me grow.
Have you noticed its also hard to raise kids with any depth beyond whatever video game or TV show that is currently filling their screens? Time unplugged helps. So does art.
I’ve been mulling my painting for a week. I’d really like to add the wheat grass in the photo. I’m scared its going to wreck what I’ve got so far. This happens to me in life too. Where do I add? Where do I call it good?
Friendships are richer when people know your bumps. Family is better when grace covers pain. I’d take that over superficial any day. Life is beautiful. Better with depth.