Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Capture a Day

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
Lat., Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.
-Horace, Odes

Why is it so hard for human beings to be present in the now? Mr. Carpe Diem thinks we must be in the here and now and not wait till tomorrow but my head is usually in the future despite his good advice. I spend a lot of time worrying about my to-do list, making sure nothing gets left behind, making more lists and adjusting calendars. Spending time to make sure all my balls are still up in the air takes up a good portion of each day. Then there are errands to run, vacations to plan, groceries to buy. Am I even present during all this or just running on auto pilot? Discouraging thinking of my days slipping past with me hardly in them.

The one time I am fully 100% present is when I'm painting. The one time! That wonderful, fully-focused space is so very full and wide. I want to dive down that rabbit hole all the time to the place that is just me, the canvas and the paint. It's problem solving all the way. You might not know that if you're not a painter. You put a stroke down and it's lovely but it's also a problem. Now the stroke next to it needs adjusting and so on. In a nearly perfect state, the hours slip by and you look up astonished that the day is nearly done.
Carpe Diem! When I'm painting!

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