Ebb and Flow

I started this weeks ago and never posted it, but since it is honest and true, even though I’m doing better now, here it is:

(Written April 4): I haven’t wanted to write this. I sort of wanted to pretend I was still at Folk School leaving the grief rock among the daffodils, as if I’m now skipping into the sunrise, but that’s not really how things have been going since I got back.

I was okay for a while. A friend hosted a fabulous French cooking evening that was a super fun group effort as well as delicious…

. . . where I won this . . .

Julia Child Prize for “#1 Best attitude about mistakes or messes

. . . which I would not have won without an epic fail in the kitchen during my part, let’s be honest. But it’s true, we did all cope and laugh about it, and I ended up with a cute new apron.

And yes, I did paint the little 4 x 6 I mentioned in the comments on the last post, and I still like it, especially framed:

In the knowledge that creative things seem helpful to my general well-being, I even finished a piano composition that’s not bad. Admittedly, George Lopez, a music professor at Bowdoin College and a traveling concert pianist who offers lessons when he’s in town every few months, was not impressed. Oh well. I worked on it a bit after that lesson, and my friends have said kind things. And I guess most important, I like it and I feel a sense of accomplishment having done it, so there’s that.

Yesterday, I spent four hours at an art workshop with kind people and a patient, encouraging teacher. Here’s one I started there and finished (maybe) at home last night:

Still, it was hard driving home from that workshop on a glorious Sunday afternoon, knowing David and I, on such an afternoon, would probably have headed straight to the Rio patio for margaritas, but I was headed home alone. All my closest friends happened to be out of town, so I couldn’t even show up looking pitiful on one or the other of their doorsteps. Surely you don’t want to read about me feeling hopeless, but there it is. It seems right to be honest.

Today, April 27: Here I am a few weeks later, and I’m doing better again. I’m recently back from a quick Easter weekend trip out to Portland with my three daughters, which involved only minimal weeping, but I’d better save that for the next post.

I guess this grief journey is still about ebb and flow, even if the grief waves crash over me less frequently and are less likely to knock me off my feet. Thanks be to God, my rock among the shifting sands, and thanks also to you, my dear ones, who hold me and many others in your hearts. I know I’m not the only one walking this rugged shore.

 

8 thoughts on “Ebb and Flow”

  1. Sunny Sunny Sunny. .. I love you so much. Your honesty is a beautiful thing. I love your word choice. I LOVE to read your thoughts. I hear your heart so clearly and the echo comes through the grief, that you do know you’ll be okay. It is well, it is well, with your soul
    We just returned from a trip to Moab. I’d like it if we could meet up soon. I’ll call you my friend. You are amazing! Love ya! Diane

    1. Thanks, Diane! You are always so encouraging. Yes, I do know I’ll be okay. Just have to remind myself every now and then. I would love to get together before I head to France, but that’s only a couple weeks away and time is flying by!

  2. Even grief can be messy. You may have won the #1 Best Attitude for the kitchen but I’d say wear that apron proudly every day. Keep posting and keep painting. And come on back to Brasstown anytime. Lillian

    1. So great to hear from you Lillian! I’ve been meaning to email you, but time has a way of slipping away from me. I’m definitely planning to be back in Brasstown sometime next year. LOVED Folk School and all the lovely people I met, especially you!

  3. Love the painting Sunny!! Grief is so hard because it just slips up on us! Keep making those beautiful paintings! I think of you often…

    1. And I, you. What a joy that class was with you! Thanks again. I’m in the middle of a drawing class that feels much more stressful than our fun days, so I’m missing you and the crew at JCCFS. Final critique of our “work” coming up next week–yikes. The teacher and other students are kind, so the stress may be self-imposed. Hope so!

  4. I find your grief beautiful and rich with the depths of living. Some people never venture into those depths…which reminds me of a quote that I think you are living out in heroic proportion: It has to do with what we aim for in life and how we’d like to finish, so we ask: “Who did I love, and how courageously?” (and in your life; how “beautifully”). You’re such a blessing and inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Sarah

    1. Thank you, Sarah, for your kind words. Love those questions. Excellent to keep in mind to love courageously, whomever we love. Life and love are not for the faint of heart!

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