One Life at a Time

A New Year - Altered Book art journal page

A New Year - Altered Book art journal page

How often do we put the ‘shoulds’ before the wants and yearnings of heart and soul?  Far too often, is my guess, for most folk.

With a backlog of cleaning, washing, gardening and general household tasks vying for attention, I decided this morning to art journal instead.  Start as you mean to go on is the well-worn adage.  Wise advice and I refuse to feel guilty, considering January is already barrelling towards the half-way mark.

Perhaps, as  many believe, we live many lives, but we only get to live them one at a time.  Thank the Goddess, I say, as I have enough trouble fitting in all I would like to in one life, let alone trying to live two or three at once.  I have no inkling about what I might or might not have achieved in past lives, who I was, where I fitted in the greater scheme of things, whether peasant or gentry, if my previous self attained each and every goal, or died with dreams unfulfilled. I refuse to worry about what I can’t change in the past.  What I can change is the present and future of my current life.  After all, what I do today will have consequences.  Yes, by putting off the housework I’ll have to put up with the dust on the bookshelves and a load of washing waiting in the laundry nook.  I’ve also made my soul sing.  The consequence of that being intensified feelings of awareness and aliveness, in this my current ‘one’ life.

Yesterday, tired after a lengthy drive, preceded by a morning of physical work, I was more than pleased to arrive home to my cottage.  After taking a turn around the property, checking for any havoc wreaked by high winds, I woman-handled the ladder to the front verandah to clean out the gutters clogged with gum leaves.  I’m not exactly comfortable perched on anything higher than the first rung, but it needed doing. Twenty-five years ago, sever symptoms of Meniere’s Disease resulted in the need for a Vestibular Nerve Section (VNS).  Since then, keeping my balance has been an ongoing test.  Nevertheless, certain things just have to be done, like cleaning the gutters – where I can manage – to minimise fire risk and clogged downpipes.

At roof height, hanging on to the guttering with one hand, scooping out leaves and black gooey mulch with the other while being buffeted by gusts of wind, I paused a moment to survey my domain, from a ‘higher’ perspective.  The iron roof is painted a dull red, a pleasing contrast against the white weatherboards.  It’s in good nick, considering its age, as is the supporting timber-work.  The doll’s house-sized cottage is closely flanked by huge old gum trees, thus the leafy build up and the reason I braved the ladder.  There, I looked around me in wonder.  It’s mine.  My dream fulfilled in this my one-lifetime.

I’m half expecting one of the neighbours to quizz me on my doings, considering the unabashed laughter and aloud exclamations of, “Yes! It is really mine!”

Amazing what a change in perspective, or a re-ordering of priorities can do for my state of mind, adding a real sense of satisfaction in the present and anticipation for the future.

This entry was posted in Art, Art Journaling, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.