Thursday, December 18, 2014

Balance in the runaround

A list of things to do. After piano, we went by David's to get some paintings of his. One is of hot air balloons above rolling hills, another of a river and sky light glory, a third a village with vibrant colors--his impression of another artist.

At his house, we sat and the kids played with the dogs. David talked to me about things, aging mainly, and all of this morphed into a beautiful reflection of life. I wish I had taken notes, or recorded him, because my scattered, fast-forward thinking pulled me in different places at once.

I sat and looked at him and focused on what he was saying:

About seventy-five being an active opposite of eighty; of aches and pains and restrictions and limitations; of time and reflection on life stages and accomplishments; and how at eighty he has less clutter in his time and life (distractions, errands, amusements, things, responsibilities, thoughts) that he can truly slow down and focus. He said a page with just a few words, and more white space, is much easier to understand than a page with a thousand words. How life at eighty has opened up an uncluttered opportunity of white space for him to appreciate its wonderment that occasional boredom affords.

I think of summer and my children with  no TV and no video games or other distractions, and this big woodland adventure that sparks creativity and laughter. His word wonderment hits close to my heart, and I nodded my head at his example now, a continued wonderment in his inability and age.

He gave me the painting of the hot air balloons and told me it was unfinished.

"It is?" I asked, looking at it.

"I forgot to paint people inside the baskets," he said. "I imagined myself riding in them as I painted. I just didn't get around to putting people inside."

His look was wistful, oh wonderment of new horizons.

That painting will go in our school room. I thought of his words on the way home, the balloons and no passengers, eternally empty, soaring above at a dawn or sunset--who knows? And maybe it's best this way, the emptiness--because in my mind, and in my heart, David will always be there.

He told me to find balance in life, and he emphasized his words like an underscore, to clear out the clutter and be present in my place in life so that I don't look back one day and wonder where it went.

Then he looked satisfied, like after a cream pie dessert, and he smiled.

I still have that list of things to do. And really, it hardly seems important.

I prefer sitting here a little longer with thoughts of David (and tender tears), his beautiful visions painted by his hands (those beautiful hands that have always reached out for and held mine), his art adorning my walls.

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