August 24, 2020 : They are doing the best they can

Over the weekend I had an epiphany that it was time to change to content of my blog.  After the last two months of building a new website and making a tenuous commitment to put myself out in the world, (tenuous because it causes me great anxiety),  I had come to the conclusion that the best way to do that was to use my daily journal entry as a starting point.  It's where I put everything down in the morning before I start my day,  following Julia Cameron's "the Artist Way" and the daily pages she advocates.  I've been doing that for years....and I mean YEARS. 

So, not that I won't still write about things like color or inspiration, I have decided it's time for me to let myself out of all my prescribed cages of social restrictions and correctness as taught me through my years of schooling and family expectations.  I was after all, a Charm School graduate!  Under the guise of my mother, bless her heart,  not wanting her daughters unable to navigate the silverware on the table or walk like a dude, or somehow find ourselves lacking in polite social situations  so we may embarrass her, or ourselves...somehow.

At one point, I took all my journals and burned them.  I was so done carrying all that history around with me as I moved both literally and figuratively.  Plus, sometimes, in order to get some things out of my head so I can focus on painting, I write things that I don't really mean and would be devastated (if I knew) that someone might read any of it, because maybe it would happen after I was dead.  What a thing to leave behind.  I would not deliberately hurt someone I love and often my anger or frustration is based on a temporary situation or even my own body chemistry at the time. ie. not enough sleep, excessive estrogen, bad food...I am sure you all know what I mean whether or not you are a man or a woman.  

I often start my pages with the date, and being a numbers girl, I like to look at the numbers and see how they relate to each other.  Today was interesting.  All three numbers were divisible by a common number, number 4.  Together they add up to a seven.  I like to keep track of those things and then see how the day plays out without too much thought, wondering if there is a predictable way to have an idea of what the day may bring.  Especially being that mathematics are the basis of so many things in life and art, the Fibonacci sequence is interesting for one.  But even more fascinating is the surprising appearance of Fibonacci numbers, and their relative ratios, in arenas far removed from the logical structure of mathematics, since they show up in Nature and in Art, in the classical theories of beauty and proportion.   Our classical masters used it along with the Golden Mean, which has a philosophical  base as well as a nature and artistic one.  Here are a couple s of links if you are interested in it further.

.Fibonacci Sequence                   

 Mathematics and Art

I guess this is just my way of explaining my interest in those numbers.  Short story long.

Today, the other things on my mind came out of a UTUBE pod cast I watched with Russell Brand (of all people) and Brene Brown, talking about vulnerability.  I haven't watched the whole thing yet, it's over 90 minutes long.  I did come away with a new respect for Russell Brand though, and his new podcast series, allowing people see who he really is, he is not just the English comedian. About halfway through,  I actually broke down in tears.  The two of them were chatting about a question that Brene Brown posed, " Do you think people are doing their best?"  Brown admitted to feeling that they don't and Brand echoed her.  So then she asked , " What if God told you, that they were doing their best?  Would that change how you felt about it?   Would that change your mind?  Remembering the source of the question, Russell took a long hard thought about it, and decided that he was wrong.  We shouldn't judge others and their lives by our personal standards basically reiterating that old "walk a mile in their shoes" adage.  That, was what brought me to tears. 

I realized that I do judge people by my standards, often when no one is looking or listening, quietly, or not so quietly, but certainly to myself.  What is that statement about "character is what you do when no one is watching" and I would add or listening.  I realized how often I have done it, particularly in the car, in my mind ruminating over some comment or predicament someone I know ( or myself) is going through.  What is wrong with them?  Why do they act that way, why do they make those obvious inappropriate choices, or say certain things.  Well, I came away with one big GUILTY sign like  Hawthorne"s "Scarlet Letter" painted on my chest.  Hurt my sense of myself and my sense of my own goodness. 

Guess what...not so good after all.  We are all hurt by people we love and those we don't, like the person in the car next to you that actually puts your life at risk driving mindlessly at 70+ mph on an Los Angeles freeway;  or the person that cuts in line at the grocery store after you've stood in line FOREVER!  Then, there is even your sister, brother, mother, father, friend that over the years has colored your relationship with them by their choices, words and actions   "They are doing the best they can".  Comes in handy right now when the world is in such chaos about all the ways we differ and no matter what we think about them.  "They are doing the best they can." 

I have often thought that we are in a bad way in the world.  We don't get along with those closest to us, so how in the world can we begin the understand those that are different.  I am going to work on that.  Give grace even when I don't think it's due.

Off to the studio.  At least I've worked that all out.  For now.  Since my work comes from the inside out, maybe all this will show up in some interesting way today.  Will share with you when I have something to show.