Saturday, January 28, 2012

Silent Communication

The sound of the drums drew the two-year-old to our circle.  We were all participating in the rhythms one way or another.  A friend was watching him as she is always on high alert when it comes to children.  She pointed out that he might be lost.  When I glanced over he was with some people and I didn’t feel anything was wrong. I assumed he was with his family.  Yet, she knew he was alone.  She asked me to pay attention too.  I really didn’t get any vibes from the child that he was scared or lost so I didn’t stress about it.
After a few minutes, my friend jumped and grabbed my arm, “he is lost,” she said panicking.  She pointed out that he has now wandered over to another group of people.  This time a woman picked him up.  Once I saw that my friend was clearly right, we marched over to take the child.  I told the woman I would find his mother.
My friend was still very upset as if she lost her own child. She has such a beautiful heart but she was not listening to her inner spirit that was telling her not to be scared. The young boy knew that he was safe.  The sound of a drumming circle is like Mother Earth’s heart beat and that is always a calming experience.
I took the young boy in my arms.  The toddler was wearing a warm coat and had chocolate cake on his face. I asked his name and waited for a response but he remained quiet and calm.  I held him close to my heart and listened for the silent communication of his heart.  He looked me in the eyes and then pointed in a direction away from our drumming circle.  For some reason, I didn’t think to call the police and I sensed that his family was close.
We walked toward the area that he pointed out.  However, I stopped because my friend was getting more and more stressed about the distance we traveled.  During that time the child still hasn’t said a word.  He just stared into my eyes.  I wanted to know his name and I thought that he may have his name in his clothes.  When I put him down to check I felt it was not the right thing to do. 
I lifted him again and continued to walk.  We came across an outdoor concession stand.  I asked if anyone was missing a child.  The woman behind the counter began to overreact, “Call the police.  Stop walking around with the child. How can a mother lose her child?”
The young boy seemed extremely uncomfortable when she spoke.  I held his hand as he was still in arms and told him that he was safe.  I turned down the woman’s logical suggestion and kept walking.  The boy relaxed as we moved away.
We passed a number of people with children and there was no one looking for a lost boy.  We kept walking.  A woman approached me very calmly and said he was with her.  The boy didn’t react when he saw her but he didn’t seem uncomfortable that she took him.  I didn’t want to leave him with her.  I wanted to see his parents. 
The woman called out to a group of people and this hysterical woman holding a screaming 1 year-old baby ran over to us.  That’s his mom for sure.  She put her other child down and hugged her missing son.  I could feel her heart beating and I wasn’t even close to her.  My friend told her that he walked toward the entrance of the park.  He must have been missing for over 30 minutes.  Her son didn’t want to be held.  He jumped out of her arms and went on playing with the other children that were with them. 
His mother thanked us and she was still very angry with herself over what happened.  I looked her in the eyes and said, “He is safe.  He has angels protecting him.  He will not remember this and he loves you very much.  He was only interested in the drumming circle.  Now he is with you.”
I picked up her other crying baby and handed him back to her.  Once I lifted her other son, he stopped crying.  She was unable to let it go.  My friend wanted to tell her about a time she lost her child but I stopped her.  I asked my friend to let her be with her family and told her we should go.
We walked back to the drumming circle and she was still very upset about what happened.  I asked her why she waited for me to take action.  Why didn’t she trust what she was getting through the silent communication around her?  She didn’t want to believe that it was happening.  She thought I would be able to help him.  But, she really did help him.  She noticed that he was in trouble.  She saw that something was wrong.  She only didn’t feel comfortable to do it by herself. 
We ended up staring into each other’s eyes for a few minutes and then she nodded.  We hugged and both knew that we helped reunite a small boy with his family.  We were both stars we just didn’t want to admit it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What Motivates Me?

I would like to say others but that’s not true.  I like to be joyful but I stop myself often.  Why?  Because I don’t think I’m allowed to do something.  Argh...  I’m no longer a child but I have these rules.  These rules are embedded in my head.  I’m not allowed to jump up and down in public because I’m an adult.  Why would you jump up and down in public?  Sometimes, I’m cold and jumping up and down and it keeps me warm.  And IT’S FUN, duh!
I haven’t posted for the past few months not because I haven’t written.  I’m writing.  I start then I stop in the middle of an idea.  I begin to question why?  Why am I creating this? Why am I doing that?  Does anyone really want to read it? What about my grammar?  I need an editor.  But I’m not writing enough for anyone to edit it.
Really, is that it?  NO!
WELL.... actually... I know that people are reading my work now. 
I want everyone to laugh and cry in the right places.  I want people to see things the same way I do.  I want everyone to love it.
It’s truly amazing how I think.  I know, “AMAZING!”
What I’m trying to say is that I tell others to forget what people think, if they love their work then that’s what’s important.  So, why oh why can’t I take my own advice?  Easy... it’s them and not me.  Aww phooey.   Who am I kidding?
This brings up a memory.  In 2009, I was walking through City Hall during my lunch break.  The City of Toronto, hosts many different art shows in the Rotunda.  I stopped and admired the Ecuadorian art exhibit.  I love looking at paintings and I always wonder what the artist was thinking or feeling when they did the piece.  It makes me smile to think they worked on something that I can own.  I took a long time viewing the different art pieces.  Some captured my eye and I would get lost in the work.  Others I had to walk away because I felt sick. 
A man named Raul stopped and asked me which one I loved the most.  I told him that I would probably purchase the one with the seagull over the blue ocean.  He admitted it was good but he asked me to reconsider the landscape paintings of the Quito the capital of Ecuador.  He led me to a group of 5 paintings.  His friend Inti painted them.  They were friends since they were small children.  Raul had art in the show too.  His work was in metal but not for sale, too bad because they were good.
As I took a closer look, the sea of white was not water it was small buildings. The paintings were much darker than the ocean but the detail of the city were intriguing.  Inti only spoke Spanish and Raul had to act as an interpreter.  The painting we discussed was called Quito ante el Pichincha. He pointed out City Hall, the university and the glass museum.  He told me about his childhood home and where they played.  He spoke about the mountains and how he travelled hours to get that view of the city.  He made the painted have meaning beyond the stoke of the brush.  His enthusiasm for his work engulfed me.  I watched his childhood come to life in the painting.  How beautiful!
The more we spoke for some reason I was able to understand Inti even though I didn’t speak Spanish.  Raul was amazed.  I was too.  “You were sitting on this mountain when you painted this one.”  I was able to pinpoint where Inti was sitting in each canvas.  He portrayed all of the angles perfectly.  He painted a 360° view of the mountains through 5 pieces.  I was impressed.  His smile was overwhelming.  He loved his work and it showed.  Inti wanted me to have this painting. 
I had to go.  I was 30 minutes late for work.  There was an auction later that evening and I couldn’t attend.  Also I didn’t want to pay $800 for a painting.  I did love all of them. Raul asked me if I would consider buying the one that we were discussing in detail.  I told Raul that if they don’t sell it I’ll buy it for sure.
Later that night Raul called me.  They didn’t get a buyer and Raul actually put it aside for me.  Part of me wished they didn’t because $800 was a large sum of money for a piece of art.   I did agree and I had some savings so I asked them deliver it to my home.
Days later, Raul and Inti delivered it together.  They both realized once I opened the door I really couldn’t afford the painting but I kept my word.  I had my keyboard (piano) on my kitchen table.  They asked me about my work. We shared stories and we laughed about life and how it creates all forms of art. We talked for an hour and Inti decided to draw a draft of the painting. He labelled all the mountains with their names and elevations.  I asked him to draw a picture of the Ecuadorian flag.  He was so obliging.  He described all the symbols and listing the meaning of each colour.  The painting now hangs in my living room over my loveseat.  I still love it.

(From left to right, Rigoberto Pazmino "Inti", Naomi, Orozco Raul)
How does this relate to my own motivation to do art? Well, I remember Inti telling me that he started his work because he liked to paint.  He felt that the mountain sang to him.  It ended up becoming his passion.   The painting I have took him a week to do.  Even though it took him that long he still enjoyed it.
So, what motivates me? Writing and singing makes me happy.  Sometimes I write about experiences and other times I write about flowers sings.  I am joyful when I create and it has meaning to me.  That’s it.  Joy motivates me.  Creating is meanfully because I took the time to do it. 
So it’s time to for me to erase the rule book and write a new one.  Now that’s more encouraging. 
Rewrite the rules. 
Hey, forget the rules – just enjoy what I'm creating. 
Ah, much better!