As we were running today, I told Crystal that I had used my free time this weekend to actually paint.  She joked that she was unfamiliar with free time though it must be something like the time we were using to run for three hours up the muddy side of Pilot Mtn.

I decided at the beginning of the weekend that I was going to take advantage of my free time this weekend.  No laundry, dishes or paper grading allowed.  Instead, I drank a cup of coffee and checked out one of my favorite blogs, Free Spirit Knits.  Shannon Kinney-Duh led the art journaling workshop I took this summer and, as far as I can tell, she just seems like a genuinely good person, someone I’d choose to hang out with if she didn’t live in Kansas.  
Shannon had posted a new entry about different paint techniques she’d been playing with so I decided to rip off a couple of ideas and played for an hour or two in the kitchen with a piece of cardboard and some old brushes from the art cabinet.  Here’s what I got:
I have no illusions about my artistic abilities, but I sure did have a good time getting my hands dirty and losing myself in time.  There’s something very peaceful about zoning out and working quietly on an art project. I have realized that I have far too few of these moments in my life lately.  In yoga, it is referred to as samahdi, a higher level of concentrated meditation.  I call it “the zone”.  Most of the time, when I reach this state, I am in the middle of some form of repeats on the track or listening to the fall of my feet on wet pine needles during a long run in the woods by myself.  Sometimes I have fallen into this state while painting or writing or hiking.  It’s that moment when I am fully conscious and fully concentrated on the task at hand.  It’s one of my favorite feelings in the world.
Creating art, even bad art, captures this feeling for me.  It’s not a bad way to spend a weekend; perhaps, it would not be a bad way to spend a life.
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