Sunday, January 16, 2011

Painting the Canvas that is Your Life

I wanted to share a quote that was wonderfully revealing to me.

Alex Crockett from Broken Postcard sums it up like this: "I used to paint a lot. When I painted I would often have to stand at a distance from the painting in order to not add too much detail to one single area at the exclusion of the whole. It seems that faced with immediacy of life we all too readily get involved in details at the exclusion of what may be a better perspective."

Now, although I often do not know of what Alex speaks on any given day, this particular quote changed how I think. How interesting it is to realize how we shrink our world. We get involved in the day to day of our lives and "add the detail" to our days. That potentially becomes the whole picture and fearfully we can frame it as we see it and it becomes our world view. And we operate there for the rest of our days. In actuality it is a very small microcosm of the entire reality in which we exist. "The whole painting."

If we can for a moment, back up and see how our microcosm fits into the world view, we would be startled by how insignificant the petty details can become. When you view the whole painting, the small area where you were working looks...well...small. What seemed so large becomes so small when you change it's context. It can shrink your problems to a manageable almost laughable size. They become mundane. Humbling. On any given day, I cannot rise above and on other days I can see beyond my world to a strange and exciting distance. Splash color on the whole painting not add endless detail to a small area. Way more fun.

I think the desire to try new things is an effort to expand the piece of the painting that you work on. It makes you want to add colour to a bigger part of the picture. What you see when you back up can make you want to back up even more. Seeing your world as a microcosm of a world that is a microcosm of an even bigger world. How fascinating.

Picture is from

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