For me, being in one’s element means finding a happy medium for body and spirit. A place to sort things out. I find contentment in the outdoors. For every walk, run, bike, hike, I’m in awe of something in nature. When slowing down my mode, the seeing and feeling part about being in my surroundings is magical. I lived close to the Pacific where I could revel in the beauty of the mountains and vast body of water. It had a lot to offer. Here in New England we get seasons and more to deal with in general, but there is always beauty, even on the darkest of days. I see it all as nature’s offerings and accept what is.
Having a pond within minutes from home has been perfect this winter. The ducks are out full force frolicking in the worst of weather. The swans are striking and can be seen from any distance. There is adventure everywhere. Open vistas and crisp air make days memorable and scenic, a part of winter that we can actually have fun with. Soon it will be spring though, new growth and more pleasures to be found.
But 2013 did not ring in as hoped. Maybe I had too many expectations into the new year. My arm and hand are still in healing mode. Medical appointments become a reminder of continued patience needed for the mending part. Getting my mind to focus on positive things has been good medicine. Forging ahead–one day at a time. I’ve had many opportunities to work with cancer patients and seniors through art and fitness. I enjoy working in these environments because it’s my passion to help others. What has always mattered most is how people feel during the process. Being a cancer survivor helps me to understand and give compassion. There are not enough programs in the healing arts in healthcare, however, a good sign is the presence of art and fitness in most retirement communities. Keeping body, mind, and spirit healthy is a good mission.
I’m presently working on a studio space at home, something that has been missing in my life for a while. My former studio was in a large old mill building full of art and artists. Today I have a good working area almost completed. It will be a space for yoga and quiet time as well. In progress is a 40″ x 30″ acrylic painting drenched in layers of glazes, and with numerous other projects on deck, my outdoor sculpture space will also be here before long. For this I simply need warmer weather. As I said, living in New England presents challenges for outdoor activities but I’m planning on it just the same. It’s a perfect spot so I’m excited. As a conceptually thinking artist, I have always been able to work from anywhere. Having actual space is a bonus!
Looking back on the fall of 2012 changed some things about art for me. Being awarded an art residency in the amazing Rocky Mountain town of Salida, Colorado was a remarkable experience. I applied knowing that I had taken time off from sculpture, a seven year hiatus from stone carving to be exact. I had no idea if I even had the strength to do it anymore, but at some point I knew I wanted to make sculpture again. In retrospect, it seemed meant to be. My proposal was to carve. I took breaks and felt strength in my hand. It was a chance I took and it paid off. I’ve already (almost) forgotten that in January of this year, my hand surgeon told me, “it is what it is.” I had to digest this for a while but I understand it meant being honest, that time will tell and that I am healing. Getting back to my other passion, the bike, has also been rewarding more than you can imagine. It’s something I’ve done my whole life and intend to keep doing. I love when people say “life is good!” It simply means they find their slice of happy. Life is full of chances, take them and go…
A thought-provoking fortune came my way
’till the next time…
All images and text © Robin MacDonald-Foley