Donating art and the art of breathing

Fairy child - altered LP record

Fairy child - altered LP record

When life becomes busy, as it suddenly has for me, with new projects taken on, the pure magic and wonder of living is often neglected.  The ever-growing to-do list takes over, flashing in my mind’s eye like an annoying neon sign as I go to sleep and again when I wake.  Have-tos become the focus of each day.

Bombarded by both self-imposed and pre-ordained deadlines, my body and mind go into a mini-hibernation.  I find I’m holding my breath, waiting for the mental reshuffling of the to-do list.  It’s like watching the Lotto draw, only with more trepidation than hopeful anticipation.  Once the numbers are drawn, I can once more breathe my way through yet another busy day.

As a new member of the Artists of the Valley, and with usable skills, I’m keen to do my bit in helping organise the group’s newly-structured art show, scheduled to take place in conjunction with the Australian Kelpie Muster in Casterton, during the long weekend in June.  As of yesterday, my to-do list has suddenly sprouted legs and is galloping out of control toward the horizon.  Not only have I volunteered to co-ordinate the entry process for the art show, but I’ve also put up my hand to donate a piece of artwork for the raffle.

Entry forms, databases,and spreadsheets are almost second nature after years of office work.  The donation of artwork is another pot of peas entirely.  Acrylics, mixed media or printmaking? Theme? Subject? Style?  Organic? Animal? Human? What will someone appreciate winning in a raffle?  I know I’m not alone in having bought tickets in a raffle, and hoping like crazy that if my ticket is drawn, it will be for second prize, not First Prize, which I wouldn’t know what to do with.   What if, after all the angst prior to and during the creation of this mystery work, neither the punters nor my fellow artists like it?  What if my style of work is way out of step with what a ‘good’ donated piece of art is percieved as?  What if…

Oh yes, time to remember to breathe!

There is definitely magic in taking a breath, and a breather.  Sometimes I actually see and appreciate the magic. The puppet-on-a-string type flight of a beautifully marked butterfly as it flutters through the garden. The changing hues of reds and golds as the sun tumbles below the hills at the end of another scorcher of a day.  The marvel of a newborn babe, held tenderly by a super-proud grandfather. The soul shining from my four-legged friend’s eyes, head resting on paws, as he watches me run around like a cut cat, crossing off items on the to-do list.  Other times, I’m too busy to notice the magic in a single moment.

This week promises yet more cut-cat antics, but I’ve promised myself to breathe in the magic moments, to clutch at the wonder they inspire and hold it close, if just for the space of a single breath.  Hoarding them like Scrooge with his precious coins, I aim to amass a wealth of wonder and awe.  After all, without a good stash of these, what’s the point of all the busy-ness?

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