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Posts Tagged ‘“No Rest”’

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is shadow. Psychologists write that when two lovers are in bed, there are actually six people between the sheets: him, her, his parents and her parents. “Ewww,” I can hear you saying with that all-too-clear image in your head. But what those clever head shrinkers are implying with that creepy phrase is the fact that all of us are influenced by our environment and relationships, particularly those from our family of origin, and most especially by our relationships with our parents. Think about it: don’t you find that your partner or ex-partner has been heavily influenced by his or her familial past? Can’t you still hear that particular teacher’s judicial voice in your head? Don’t you find that you react to certain people in a predictable way because they remind you way too much of that overbearing parent of your childhood…? A friend said to me recently, referring to her current relationship, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could just have a relationship with just that one person, all by themselves, without their relatives and often without their friends too? Amen to that! Alas, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Even when the aforementioned influences are not physically in the picture, their influences (as psychologists note) will always be ‘in the mix’ somewhere with each of our personalities. As much as we would each like to view ourselves as a unique, autonomous free-thinkers and do-ers, the shadow of our families and our past experiences infiltrates and influences much of our personality, actions and view of life…for better or for worse. We are complex beings, are we not? “No Rest no. 2”    (watercolor, pen & ink)  Collect the original here.

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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is caged.

It is the rare morning when the caged monkey in my mind is still. For a transcendant moment, the endless litany of my little woes and worries is nowhere in evidence… and I am free. I hear the birds talking and scratching for their breakfast, notice my body breathing, can remember my dreams… and I am happy to be alive.

Then the door slams shut, mind returns to full activity… and I am on the inside of my mind’s cage, sharing the day with its craziness, seeing life mostly through its eyes.

Days go by. Suddenly, on an ordinary afternoon and for no apparent reason, a space will open once again. The mental litany stills, and I experience a peace which passeth all understanding.” Nothing in my life has changed, but for a short time, I see it all for the joyful miracle that it truly is…

Sometimes these experiences arrive in the middle of the night…  undeniably real, but not explainable. They leave me knowing beyond a doubt that I am not alone, that everything is fine… and that I am loved. Indeed, that we are all loved.

Spiritual teachings say that this state of Being can be learned, called up and lived all of the time. My own experience has been that it comes simply by an unearned grace… like a finicky cat… and that all I can do is cultivate the ground for it to descend into, teaching myself stillness little by little, so that I will not miss the next miraculous-ordinary moment. And yet, even with preparation, I suspect the event happens by grace…

Surely the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, was describing one of these experiences?

My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.

“Vacillation,” verse IV from The Winding Stair and Other Poems by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

“No Rest” (oil on paper) 

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