watercolor and ink painting of flower by emily weil

daily painting | mill valley posey

Sometimes a complete collapse is the only reasonable thing to do. Since I am voluntarily isolating myself after five cases of Covid broke out in my brother’s assisted living home, where he is in hospice care, I’m making sure I am not infected and of course not visiting Jamey’s residence (doubtful they’d let me in anyways, though they did on Friday; that place isn’t the most organized).

Deep depression and alienation is how I’d describe my last couple of days. The I-can-hardly-move, wearing-lead-shoes kind of dark stupor. Big black clouds encase my head; visibility severely limited. This morning when I woke up, I performed my usual routine of grabbing my headphones and doing my guided meditation (though I can barely concentrate on it these days). Afterwards I was far, far away. Kind of comatose. So I didn’t fight it and lay in bed, letting myself be drifty and exhausted. Two and a half hours later I came to (my poor little guinea pig had a delayed Sunday brunch).

So many reasons to feel pulled into the muck. Catastrophic Supreme Court decisions, the loss of both of my sisters, politicians who care only about power and not Americans, strife within my family, my brother’s aggressive brain cancer, more than a million Americans dead from a cunning pandemic (as the kind counselor with hospice says, any one of those things would flatten a person).

And today, I just can’t fight it off. So my activities will be simple. I will go for a bike ride, call my brother, and get out my paints. This crumpling of my spirit will not be resisted. “There’s beauty in the breakdown,” is a line in a song from the movie, Garden State. Today I am ravishing.

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor on paper

 

 

 

abstract drawing by emily weil

daily painting | doodlebugs

I had written up thoughts on parenting, set to post with a small abstract I was working on, but the painting turned out to be shite. So then I started this one, and it worked out better (I’m practicing moving slowly in a painting, which isn’t my style but a good exercise). I will likely blab about being a mom in a future post, but for today I want to express how I am learning (and relearning) to interrupt a dark descent down the rathole. Today I felt the suck of depression and grief pulling on my ankles, so I forced myself (really, I was not in the mood) to go to a nearby park and walk. It was a wonderful tonic. Such a simple thing. I’m becoming quite fond of Shoreline Park in Oakland, where the estuary merges into San Francisco bay; the park is surrounded by dramatically gigantic container ships and cranes. Big and sprawling, with tons of room and extended walking paths and few humans. Thanks to my wonderful new walking sticks, I can walk longer distances without back pain, so I just kept going, taking in SF skyline and Bay Bridge views, watching seagulls drop shellfish on the concrete surfaces to break the shells (they do that on my roof too, which always cracks me up). Wintering ducks were diving in the small cove there, bug-eating phoebes snatched insects out of the air, families hung out on a pier with fishing poles. Beautiful gentle breezes swirled, and finally a spectacular sunset showed itself off behind the city skyline. While the sun set, hundreds of starlings flew around in flocks, settling into rows of palm trees for the night. Lots of chattering and squawking and rustling as they slipped into the dried palm fronds at the top of the tall trunks. A real treat for the senses, and I gratefully took it all in, glad I got my behind out of the house, breaking the dark spell.

9″ x 12″ watercolor, ink, pastel, acrylic, pencil on paper = $140