Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year

I resolved to be openly grateful this year. I've also resolved to give back. Or forward. Either way. While I've been given much by many, it's still been a long time since I felt anything that remotely resembled abundance. I don't own a home, have a reliable income, or a 401K or much of a savings account. I also don't have debt, credit cards, unexpected home repairs (plumbing, heating, AC, etc., etc. ad nauseum). I have a car, tires, insurance, AAA, but God help me if anything breaks. God always does.

The amazing thing to me is that friends come up with the idea that they need some manner of work done that I can exactly do at just the very moment I need the work. Last month, when work kept popping up, even though money was regularly coming in, the work kept postponing until later. I was worried that January would be slow, but those old December jobs are rearing their pretty little heads again.

It's this all too reliable synchronicity of need and opportunity that belies atheism for me. There are many other reasons for my belief in something more, other, greater, bigger, wiser, but this is a constant. I read the bible once, in full, beginning with the Torah and progressing forward into Christian and Muslim sacred texts. The red words spoke deeply to me - those words in red that Jesus said, ignore the rest, for those are best - and I used to wonder what life would be like if I really did just give away absolutely everything I owned and walk away without a single idea what to do with my life.

Until I did. Well, I drove away, and I kept some clothes and momentoes, but I literally did give away quite a lot of stuff. Then, there was the offer of a place to live a while, then another, and some work, and a job, and not and this and that. Early on, a friend brought a box she'd found left behind among the stuff given away, that she saved for me, a box of oil paints, brushes, pastels, palette knives. It had been so long since I painted, I had forgotten I had them.

I supported myself with that box of paints for many years. In some ways, I still do, although it's been a rough two years. Things are picking up. I've sold some. I have two commissions. I still have three tubes of that old paint, not yet used up, still ready for some linseed oil to breath new life into it. So I start new works, painting first on one, then rest and dry and work the other. While doing so, I live in the basement of a house. Upstairs is the very best friend a person could ever hope to have. The home is on a quiet lake, no motor boats or screaming skiers, a sturdy dock, miles of decks, trees galore in the mountains. I do work that's needed to pay the rent. I have friends who have my back. No bills. I can't imagine why I would ever think life was anything but perfect.

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