Sunday, March 22, 2020

Feeding Body and Soul: Staying Healthy and Happy During Social Distancing Season

Instead of our usual giant salad for lunch, yesterday I made a delicious 
soup with leftover veggies and ramen noodles, served with homemade beet
tahini. It was delicious, and a nice change. It made lunch at home feel special.
So, I'm sure you can imagine that my art group's exhibition, Women in Conversation, came to a screeching halt here in north-eastern Ohio, where we are battling the spread of coronavirus. The artwork remains installed, while we await the day where a semblance of life as normal returns. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, a week into Staying at Home, I am keeping busy, and hope you are, too. Because I love to cook, read, sew, sketch and write, it isn't hard. Now might the time for you to develop a hobby. I'm just sayin'...

Earlier in the week, I set up a still life after my sweet husband went out for a brief grocery run and brought me some lovely yellow roses from the store. The kaleidoscope roses in the small vase came by mail from my sister, a congratulations gift for the opening of my show way back before we knew we had to Stay at Home.

Sketch in progress, still life with yellow and kaleidoscope roses together
with my favorite vases: two artist vases with faces, and an antique
amethyst glass vase that belonged to my grandmother. Though it
looks black, when you hold it up to the light, the amethyst color glows.
To me, it's the perfect metaphor for the way we can change our perspective
and find beauty in the process.
I have never seen kaleidoscope roses. They are so unusual, I just had to include them in my drawing. Though I am often the one to say there is nothing new under the sun, both the beautiful kaleidoscope roses and the dystopian nightmare we are experience disprove me. I am trying to make the most of it.

I am working with soft pastel pencils that I have had since drawing classes in college. I don't work with them a lot, because I really prefer oil pastels. That said, there is immense pleasure in the way soft pastels mark and blend. I love how they show up on colored pastel paper, as well.

Drawing is contemplative. It is a relaxing, focused activity. It is a skill than can only improve with practice. It is a challenge with an immediate sense of reward. It also frees your mind to wander while your eyes and hands are busy learning to see. Even if you are one of those many people ruined by a childhood "art" teacher who told you that you can't draw, I am here to tell you that you can. Give it a try. Don't show anyone. Do it for yourself. Any plain old pencil and paper will work. I highly recommend Danny Gregory's Art Before Breakfast to build your confidence. Danny is the founder of Sketchbook Skool, and presents as a gentle, kind soul and wonderful and enthusiastic support for artists and would-be artists. Take an art class with him online. Learn a new skill!

After two days spent gathering extra art supplies, I dropped them off yesterday (no social contact involved) at our our local non-profit art center, BayArts. Shout out to the amazing director Nancy Heaton and her wonderful staff, Karen, Jessica and Linda. They are creating free art kits for kids that can be picked up on the porch once a week. The first week, two hundred bags disappeared within hours of being set out. It feels good to do for others. See what you can do in your community. This coming week, I will be sewing face masks for first responders.

The other thing that I accomplished this week was to finally set up our reiki table again. My husband and I became reiki masters over the past decade. Though I give reiki to friends and family members, I have used my daily practice primarily as a tool for personal growth and healing. My husband does the same, but has also spent a lot of time teaching reiki for hospice, and giving reiki to hospice patients and their families. Instead of keeping our reiki table set up downstairs, I made space and moved it upstairs to a more quiet, personal space. I still have some rearranging to do in the coming days. In these uncertain times, it will be good for us to have a dedicated space to chill out, rest, refresh, and feel loved.

Wishing you peace and love. Take this time to do something special for yourself and those you love. It's a rare opportunity that has been foisted upon us. Stay in touch!
Reiki table almost ready to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment