"As we get older we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness."
-page 103 "Option B" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
I find this statement to apply to all facets of my life. Though I have always needed to experience solitude throughout my life and actively sought it out through my plein air painting experiences, I find now that noise and the chaos of crowds is actually painful to me. More and more, I retreat from the din and avoid having to attend parties and gatherings where I can't filter out conversation from noise.
My evening walks are more than for the sake of exercise. They primarily allow me to gather my thoughts... organize my ideas and to look without interruption. In a passage I have always favored from "another wonderful guide book:
"He leadeth me beside still waters... and it restoreth my soul."
It is when I am on these walks that I encounter "signs" (to me at least) of Allison's renewed presence in my life... manifest in the simple blessings of Nature and life that we shared together. Hand feeding chickadees... netting butterflies... capturing preserve sealers of twinkling August fireflies. All such perceived simple blessings weave us together into a tapestry of complete Peace and Joy.
"Peace is joy at rest and joy is peace on its feet." (Reverend Veronica Goines)
This personal perception of my continued connection to Allison might cause many to scoff... equating this to denial at best, or worse... delusion. But no matter the skeptics' views... "She" remains firmly embedded in my consciousness in a fashion that offers Hope in lieu of despair on a daily basis.
I have accepted that her spirit has left its physical vessel. Her presence now exists only in memories we each carry of her. But that spirit and energy which belonged to her alone and defined her continues to manifest itself in ways that only we shared... and understood.
I choose to take back Joy... and to pass it forward through my thoughts and actions to honor her... and my Self. Art and painting are the cement and underpinnings of our separate life's work. Hers was achieved through research and scholarship. Mine through a combination of art history and fine art. Both shared a common passion and pivotal centre - Venice.
"La Serenissime" - the Molo in Venezia - oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches
Love you Jemima