Wednesday, 11 January 2012

ain't got time to get the blues

twin shores, PEI - mrl 2012 
You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.  - Deshimaru

January is one of those months:  there isn't much light, we're all starved for Vitamin D, everyone is in hibernation mode, it can be kind of a downer.  After spending a few winters in the southern US, I realized that this 'January blues' effect happens whether or not it's cold & snowy.  It happens in warm climates too, only you have nothing to blame but yourself, which is worse - trust me.  So maybe we all need the downtime.  Maybe the communal suffering makes us just a little more compassionate toward each other. 

north shore, PEI - mrl 2011

This year I feel pretty fortunate to be so busy that I have barely had time to notice the spin of the earth or the overcast skies.  I'm working on a couple of shows - a group printmaking exhibit (opens January 20th) at Gallery 78 in Fredericton, NB, a solo installation show (opens March 16th) at the UNB Art Centre, also in Fredericton, and a crow-themed group exhibit (opens on February 16th) at Details Past and Present Art Gallery here in Charlottetown. 

I just started taking a painting class (I've been in withdrawal since I graduated!  Give me assignments!!) with Henry Purdy, who is a true Master of his craft & a wonderful teacher.  I'm playing music once a week with some friends & getting really uplifted by both the company and the music itself.  And today I began teaching an 8-week felting course at a Senior Citizens' day program - there are some wise-cracking guys in the group, which I adore as a character trait, so I think we'll all have a good time together ;)  Felt is a material I really love working with & I'm thankful to have the opportunity to share it with these folks!

But let me level with you:  the real reason, at the heart of it, for my chipper attitude is that I have begun (and am now in week 2) of the P90X program.  That's right, I'm doing it.  It's an intense workout and a full diet regime, and I feel fantastic!  Sore, yes, but fantastic.  Ten years ago this year I quit smoking after 11 years of about a pack & a half a day.  I had had fluid in my lungs before I finally decided to quit.  Now I can run for an hour straight, and I'm doing this training program.  Exercise will make you feel great, no doubt about it, but the link between quitting smoking and doing this program is something else, and that is where I find my true center & my true strength.  Self-discipline.  It took me a long time to get the hang of it, but now I know it to be the most powerful force there is.  It is a force that requires regular maintenance, but the return is outstanding.

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. - Rumi

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