Many of you might be wondering WHY I paint ?
Good question. I ask myself, ” would you if you didn’t have to, didn’t need to pay the bills, support the family !? ” Well, let’s face it, most of us would love to have the money thing, without having to work , right. We could just lie in the sun, in a hammock between two palm trees, up on the hill, overlooking the sea.
I know, I should be saying things like ” I am absolutely passionate about what I do !! ”
Sure, I enjoy getting rolling up my sleeves, tackling a challenging painting that a client wants made. Putting a month into it, or at times three !
And even though, i must toil ever so hard. Once I’ve got it, well its a great feeling. A relief, a satisfaction, pride. Knowing that it’s around for couple hundred years, to sing one’s praise after one is good and gone.
Nice feeling to leave a piece of you behind. A piece of history.
My predicament though, is to be yoked to my easel, my brushes, for fame has not come knocking, nor, thank God, poverty. And so I plod along…,counting my blessings, of which I have been given more than my fair share: seven children, twenty five grandchildren. Sound health, dependable friends. House out in the countryside these past thirty seven years. A mother that is still globe trotting at eighty six. The list goes on and on… endless. Sister, brother. Three hundred and twenty days of sunshine a year, on the Mediterranean, in The Holy Land; land of my ancestors, origin of The Book of books, and so on and so forth…
So yes, I am a painter, a have-to painter, the “WHY” , the ordained predicament.
As well, I am a tree planter, of more than five thousand saplings, now giants swaying in the breeze.
Also, a whole forest across from my community. It straddles two hills, hills that head to the sea. Every afternoon I take my (sacred) siesta under one of those very giants.
I sleep by his roots, body prone to The Mother, her scent to my nostrils. I awake healed, whole, refreshed. Try it. Walk bare foot, lie on the earth; connect, she will take away all your cares whilst you slumber deep.
That “WHY” is also about striving to be a True Human Being, in other words, live and let live. Live simply, that others may simply live. Walk the path of wisdom: respect differences, respect your body. Give it some exercise, some fresh air, clean water, a little food. Let others go first. Believe in a Higher Power, in humility. In knowing (full well) you are not running The Show. Believe in your “appointments” in life. Relax. Breathe deep, sigh. All will be alright. The Most High has but our best in mind. Don’t worry. In the end all turns out for the best. All is for our growth. Trust.
I better end here, climb down from the pulpit, bring my sermon, to a close, before your snoring drowns me out!
So clearly the “WHYS” of a human being are manifold. In my case, I paint to acknowledge the gift that was imparted to me when I was seven, high in the Swiss Alps; a long ways from the sweltering heat of my birth place; Cairo Egypt.
And yes, at times I am passionate, other times, my lazy disposition takes over and so I ride off to the beach, or head for the hills; pen a letter to an old and disenchanted friend.
Or, better still, I pull up the old bamboo chair , rest my feet up on a stool, and do absolutely nothing. Nothing for hours on end, sitting deeply still. Interrupted, now and again, with sips of bitter coffee, a piece of chocolate squarely between my teeth, tall glass of water by my side, gazing out at the distant hills.
Well yes, now I better end, for i see all, but myself, lie fast asleep on the cool multi-colored tiles.