I have a friend who is always telling me that I need to find a way to quiet my head.  I mean, I know he’s right. It’s kind of a disaster in there.

Writing does help, in a way.

When there’s a storm in my brain but I have to pull out just one piece to share with you, it forces me to focus….to pick the most important thing (or maybe just the most persistent, or the loudest).

Sometimes (not always) when I get to the root of an issue, I am better able to let go of it. Still, while the writing process focuses me, it keeps me self-analyzing.

It doesn’t hit the off switch.

I know I should meditate. I should also exercise more and eat less chocolate and drink less wine…but, as Monica would say – I’m not going to should all over myself.

There are things that I do regularly that quiet me – walking in the forest and taking a warm, lavender bath are two.

Today I discovered a third thing…

Painting.

I took a couple of oil painting classes ages ago.  I still have an easel and paints tucked away somewhere. In the classes we painted still lifes. Painting actual things did bring out the perfectionist in me – I wanted them to look right...to look real. So though I did enjoy the classes, I don’t remember them being a relaxing experience.

This was different.

One of my girls received paints and canvases for Christmas. After breakfast she pulled them all out and shared the blank canvases with her sister and me.

I have to admit I sat down to paint just to be a part of it. My interest was more in spending time with them then in actually painting.

Then I got into it. I was calm and focused. I wasn’t trying to make the painting be anything – it was completely abstract.

I realized that while I was painting…my brain had been quiet.

Art is an amazing tool. Some would argue that writing is an art form, and I would agree….but, when I am writing, I am fully thinking about what I’m writing. Which might work fine as a distraction from my life if I weren’t usually writing about my life.

When I was painting I wasn’t thinking at all…or maybe it’s just that I was thinking about mixing paint colors, instead of whatever noise was in my head today. I was completely immersed in the process, without expectation.

I could have gone on for hours moving the paints around that canvas. The girls each finished two or three while I worked on one.

I would post a picture here of the finished product, but I don’t know how copyright rules work with art, and I don’t want anyone copying my work…

Ahem, or…

I’m not posting a picture because it’s a really shitty painting.

Total garbage.

That’s beside the point, you guys.

(However, this one by Ruby is pure magic.)

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