watercolor and ink painting of rose by emily weil

daily painting | ripe rose

Embracing what is in front of me is my lesson these days. Not resisting. Which I do with reluctance and no small amount of resentment. But the dear bro is continuing to fade, and he’s not done yet with his life, and there must be reasons why he, with that amazing brain of his, is soldiering on. And I love him, and he loves me, and that alone is a bit of a miracle, after our childhood experiences.

Some time ago I read the quote,“People are like tea bags — you don’t know what’s in them until they are in hot water.” It was Nancy Reagan who supposedly said it but I’ve heard that nugget of wisdom ascribed to various other folks, including Eleanor Roosevelt (my true hero). First Lady Nancy wasn’t my favorite person, but these days I’m thinking about this apt description of humans under pressure.

What’s in me? Is it strong enough to make a good cuppa? I guess I’m finding out. I think today of Turkish earthquake survivors and Mississippians who saw a tornado devastate their town and thousands of others whose lives have been upended. I feel like a heap of twisted metal (certainly with plenty of sharp edges), but something stronger will be rebuilt in the aftermath. I’m certain of this.  

And thank you for reading these posts. I know they are often dark. I appreciate your caring observations.
[This painting is of a rose I photographed at Aldersly retirement community where my brother resides.]

7″ x 7″ ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper = $65

SOLD

 

 

 

watercolor, ink painting of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | march sunflower

Recently I had an email conversation with a very dear old friend. He offered prayers of support to me as I “help my brother transition.” What a liberating concept! I have the western idea of the sad, painful, long road of sickness that ends in death (and then there is heaven or hell, in Christian traditions). To see this as my brother’s journey from his current state into another is rebooting my brain and adding some bright sparkles to my thinking.

Because I believe it’s true, about death being a kind of passage. I think he’ll go join my sisters and it will be good and joyful. And I’ve already asked him to look after me (I call on Kay and Diana for assistance, often). His death will be wrenching and difficult and it will be a great loss, especially since Jim and I have become close these past months. But I know I will be happy too, for his release. And I will see him again.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper = $90

 

 

 

watercolor of dog by emily weil

daily painting | daisy-may

I really like my Sunday mornings. I watch the news shows because I’m a junkie, sip my tea, watch Buster, my guinea pig, chow down on his morning salad and delight in the dancing shadows on my living room curtains of finches at the bird feeder. I’m getting more skilled at self-care, allowing myself to rest after almost 11 months of looking after my bro — his brain cancer is advancing, but slowly. He is in good hands; I don’t need to be there every day. I feel guilty, but am noticing how beneficial it is to not be so worn out. I’m no good to him if I’m a wrung-out old dish rag.

Jamey and I often have amazing conversations. Last week we had a difficult discussion about the secret abuse my little sister and I suffered at the hands of our fury-spewing dad. Jamey is 9 years older, so he was mostly gone, doing teenager things, when I was a kid. He wasn’t home when dad would go into his rages — he was worried he had been there but either didn’t realize what was happening, or chose not to intervene. I am certain my funny, kind older brother wasn’t around, as I don’t think Dad would’ve dared the abuse if he’d had witnesses. These hard facts weigh on my brother. He’s an engineer, not exactly conversant with his emotions, but his love for me is clear. I believe that more than anything he wishes he could have prevented those horrors experienced by his two little sisters.

Phoo, this is heavy stuff. My apologies. My point is that I am grateful for the sweetness of my times with my only remaining sib. These incredible moments would have never happened but for his illness and being confined in a nursing home where I can visit and spend time with him. He often surprises me, bringing up family topics I assume he would rather avoid. These exchanges heal us both. Isn’t that somethin’?

[About this painting — a dear friend’s sweet little Daisy May moved on to happier hunting grounds recently and this is a tribute to her.]

6″ x 6″ ink, watercolor, acrylic on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | february bouquet

There was a promo on the other day for an upcoming show; something about a TV personality having a bout with cancer and recovering. The celeb said, “My mom said to ‘make my mess my message.’ ” So clever! On the outside chance you are not bored to tears with my current posts about loss, here’s my mess today: I’m still showing up, and have come to accept — maybe even make friends with — my boiling brain that bounces around in the early mornings. So I just say Good Morning to my scary thoughts, do my meditation and get up and make tea. I often wonder what the insides of other folks’ brains are like. Calm? Serene? Adult-like? Confident? Am I the only one who feels wobbly? Unlikely. 

I’m 70. Does everyone who makes it into these later years review their lives and have regrets and ponder the crazy side trips and wonder What-The-Hell-Was-I-Thinking? That’s why I love books and poetry. Literature is a reveal into a writer’s thoughts and feelings. I’m not so peculiar. So today’s commitment to myself is to sing my song. It doesn’t matter if it is harmonious with other folks’ songs. I don’t care if it’s pretty. It’s mine. It belongs to me. Grab your earplugs — I’m getting ready to belt.

[Painting is of a Trader Joe’s bouquet; the way the sun flowed into my living room and lit the sunflowers was lovely.]

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor on paper = $90