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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Luxury or Necessity?

I am in California at the moment because my dad was hospitalized at age 86 and I wanted to be with him and my sisters. It was/is still questionable whether he will make it. He had a burst appendicts, septisemia (system wide infection) and now pneumonia, but he is a fighter and constitution is an area he always had an iron will. We shall see. Those who pray I would appreciate you remembering him/us. I was showing my sisters some "fat book" pages I did (see previous articles and pictures). These are small 4X4" pieces of art. My youngest sister made a remark, "boy, I wish I had the luxury to sit and play like that." My answer to her was, " that it is not a matter of luxury, but that I made a choice. Life is too short to not do something that gives you joy." The house work, the job demands will always be there, you never catch up, they never go away. So, in the end, is your life going to be about a neat house or the job done to perfection? OK, I know that our lives are full and there are many demands, but what would it look like if you took even just one hour a week to do something that gives your heart joy? Is it something you could share with others that might contribute to their joy and their experience of you. Maybe it might even set a lifetime example for your children or others. If you can't take one hour, then you are living a sad life and missing out on sharing that heart of joy over something that you delight in. Is it luxury or necessity? My father is in the cold winter of his life. He's done little that gave him joy, but feeling the press of doing the next demand. It has been a hard example to overcome. I've had to deal with guilt at taking time to do something that is purely fun (tyranny of the puritan work ethic). I've come to see, not only can I share my art with others and bring them happiness, I have become a different person. I have become someone easier to be with. I use my art to teach others and that is also gratifying as I see them taking delight in something they have created. So for many this is not a problem, but for many they are trapped in the "American rat-race. So I ask the question again differently, what would be the thing you would do that would so delight your heart? Try it, even for just a short time and see if the satisfaction in life is not worth the cost.

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