Sophie was my second girlfriend and my first adult relationship. She had short, spikey blonde hair and blue-green eyes. On our first date, I made her dinner and served us downstairs in the piano room. I’d set a table covered in my favorite shiny blue swim wrap, doubling momentarily as a table cloth. I had bought sunflowers and a vase. I cooked a delicious, vegan (catering to her ideological diet) meal, and was extremely nervous and awkward the whole time. Fortunately, she was too, so the balance of power remained equal. A week later, we decided to date exclusively. The night I proposed the relationship and we became girlfriends, I was thrilled. Over the moon. Head over heels. I painted this that night, all of the symbols representing a part of her personality. The d.s. al coda sign was a tattoo she had on her right shoulder blade. Turtles were her spirit animal. She played ukulele. I had made a wish for her on 12:34, my wishing minute since childhood. I saw so much beauty in her, so I put it on paper. This painting echoes in my mind because I remember painting it so vividly; it was such a happy night.
Earth From a Distance
Being able to find your place in the universe is what mindfulness is all about. I love space, and I love physics. They resonate deeply with me because they’re such vast concepts. I am so much smaller than the whole of existence. Infinitely smaller. The more I realize the miniscule scale of my impact on the universe around me, the more free and happy I feel. Everyone thinks they’re so god damned important. Yes, you do too. Take a step back for a minute and face existence. You are tiny. You are a mote of dust on a pinprick of a planet orbiting a medium star in a small galaxy that’s one of billions and billions, all separated by an unimaginable amount of empty space. That’s how small you are. That should be the best news you’ve ever heard. If you’re that small, you don’t matter that much. Your impact is small. The pressure is off. You don’t have to live the perfect life. The universe could get on just fine without you. You’re free to find your own meaning in life, to make it mean anything you want. Meaninglessness is what frees us to create our own meaning. That’s such a beautiful idea. This fish in space is me, getting a dose of perspective. It feels so good. I’m free.
I worked off and on in childcare for seven years. My favorite student I ever had was a smart, charming two-year-old named Elizabeth. She was in my class at school and I sometimes took care of her at home. I always wanted a little girl, and she was a nearly perfect child. I adored her. I liked to pretend she was my own. I painted this for her to hang in her nursery. I wanted her to remember me when she got older, and I thought a piece of art would hang in her room for a long time, and my short period of impact would be extended until she got old enough to take it down. I was going to give it to her on her third birthday, but I was late getting it framed. I put it on the back burner of my mind and time slipped by without me ever giving it to her family. She must be ten by now, and I haven’t seen her in a long time. I hope she’s happy and healthy, and continuing to shine light out into the world.
I wanted to revisit the ideas I had for my first painting, Abigail. These goldfish are both me, meeting myself on the road. The lightning striking the red mailbox is a symbol I don’t understand yet. The blue eyes are Chris, my fiance.
Woman on a Mountain
Honest truth, I have no idea what this means yet.