A memory of painting

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Sitting on the hard, faux-wood floors of my apartment with the light streaming in through the windows, I painted in the near silence of being alone on a late summer afternoon. The floor felt comforting, or maybe it was the knowledge that I had only one week left until he was home.

Bunheads was on in the background, but what I was focusing on, what I had been focusing on for a week, was the paintbrush pulling acrylic paint across my canvas. I was absolutely certain that this painting of the winter would bring the cold weather into my life. And I love cold weather.

September in Washington can be unpredictable. Some years it’s hot and sunny, the wildfires blazing on and their smoke lingering as if to cancel the rest of our summer. Other years the temperatures drop early, the clouds roll in, the trees begin their little dance of slowly turning colors, and the cleansing fall rains start.

This day was a sunnier, warmer day. I had the A/C running in the evening, but it was unnecessary during the day, as being alone always relieves me of cooking duties, and the oven wasn’t pumping the usual extra heat into the room. I find that salads and eggs are sufficient to fuel me. This day, of course, was before kids. Before every day was busy, before I had set tasks I had to accomplish every single day. This day, I had chosen to meditate through painting. I had chosen to release stress and fear and missing him through focusing on the tug, the resistance of thick, viscous colors that would eventually dry to reveal the wintery mountain scene.

I did love being alone. There was something beautiful about having the television be the only sound around me day to day. There was something about not having anyone to talk to or to listen to, being left alone with my thoughts for a majority of my morning and evening that forced me to evaluate myself on a deeper level. And yet, when the trips were over, I was always happy and grateful for him to be home.

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