My friend Heinz sent me this quote from Walt Whitman. Something to aspire to, no matter how difficult. The thing about living is you just get to get up each morning and start all over again. This one will get cut out and put on the wall, it is an inspiration to live as this suggests. I will fail horribly at it daily, but also just by aspiring to its ideas, will make this small corner of the world a slightly better place for myself and all beings around me.
Walt Whitman's - advice for poets and Americans..."This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful and uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint in your body."
And in the meantime, I am reveling in wearing pigtails, inspired by the crooked braids of my horse Sky. I am not young on the outside any more, the Scandinavian skin protected from sun for most of my years is aging and I see it as I look at pictures of myself. An uncomfortble feeling, but one of resignation really. But when I am not looking at a picture of myself, I feel what makes me uniquely me, and I will always feel that, no matter how old I get. I wouldn't trade this knowledge for one moment as a 20 year old or a 30 year old 40 year old. Nor would I trade my life now where I aspire more to recreate land and help animals and paint more for myself than another which means I live hand to mouth - but I prefer it to the driven frenzy and unbalanced life of the 30's and early 40's where I was always trying to achieve something that was supposed to make me a better illustrator, or a more well known illustrator or an award winning illustrator or an accepted illustrator. Making 70 paintings in 2 weeks once...I prefer my perculating pace I have now. When the muse hits, I go. But sometimes the muse is the garden or the land or the sheep. Slowing down.