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




daily painting | hollyhocks

“In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and it comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better. But this is not true. You are sure to be happy again. Knowing this, truly believing it, will make you less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once.” — Abraham Lincoln [lost his son Edward at age 3, another son William at age 11; after his assassination, his son Tad died at age 18].

Written from the grief bus. Destination unknown. Love, Emily.

7″ x 7″ watercolor, pen, acrylic ink on paper = $60