watercolor painting of hollyhock by emily weil

daily painting | carmel hollyhocks

I was so encouraged, reading my dear friend’s book, Skipping Church: notes from an accidental minister’s wife. Sue’s husband’s denomination sent them to a small Iowa town where they were both reluctant to go. Reading about how Sue worked out that difficult and lonely challenge (acceptance!) was heartening and inspiring. In a book Sue also gave me, The Book of Soul, I came across this encouragement: “Meaning, truth and kindness are our constant teachers. They help us live through fear, pain and disappointment. They are the flames that light the heart.” Yet again, with great unwillingness, I stand (I should say, kneel) in surrender. “I relinquish all resistance to the present moment,” Eckhart Tolle suggests we repeat to ourselves in his book, The Power of Now; he writes that surrendering to this moment transforms pain and suffering into peaceful acceptance. But I resist not resisting. I want answers. I want to know why so many things are completely effed up and why I (and my family) can’t just float along on calmer waters, at least for awhile. Because sometimes current circumstances just suck. So, while I struggle and fight and thrash around, what brings me inner quiet is finally arriving at acceptance. I am disillusioned to find that at this stage of my life, things aren’t smooth and perfect and sweet (I want that cliche of enjoying the rocking chair on a safe and quiet front porch). And for the zillionth time, embracing reality and asking for help from the Divine comforts and soothes my turbulent, worried mind. And, once again, I have to learn again how to let go (bit of a steep learning curve, over here). I’ve perched on precarious, crumbling cliffs many times over. I always figure out a safe way to get solid ground under my feet; my life is as it is. And it is glorious.

About this painting — dug into my trove of photos for this watercolor. Last summer a loving and sweet friend took me to Carmel to give me a break from life and grief and pain. It was beautiful — I can still feel that silky white beach sand between my toes. This lush hollyhock was blooming across the street from our little apartment.

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