All the Time There Is

What if it was ours…

Shadow-project-1a-webThe Shadow Project #1″, by Laureen Marchand (oil/board, 5″ x 5″, $295 unframed)

It’s amazing how time extends when you can’t do much.

In early October I caught a seasonal flu. It turned into pneumonia. I didn’t know it was pneumonia, so I spent a week waiting for the cough and fatigue and weakness to go away on their own. Eventually, when they didn’t, I went to the doctor and thence to antibiotics, and to another week of coughing and fatigue and weakness. In the end, for almost four weeks I did almost nothing.

Here’s what’s interesting. During all that time of lassitude and very little accomplishment, I never felt the pressure to do more.

You know that pressure. Not enough hours in the day. Everyone wants something. You are responsible and you have to respond. There’s nothing you can do about it. Every demand has to be met. You’re indispensable.

Then there was pneumonia. I just…stopped.

You know what? I wasn’t indispensable at all.

So much time. To think, to read, to dream. To sleep. To refill the outdoor bird feeders. To rest again. Lovely books. Lovely birds. The days were spacious and calm. By the third week, once or twice, I went to my studio. An hour to paint. What gifts! I had all the time there is.

What if we all just…stopped? What if we did what was possible and no more? What if we gave ourselves an hour in the studio? What if we always felt that space? What if we always had all the time there is?

What if…

The small painting above was one of the gifts of my pneumonia studio time. It’s available for sale at the price stated, taxes and shipping extra as applicable. If you’d like more information, drop me a line using the contact tab in the navigation bar. I’ll get right back to you.

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9 Responses to All the Time There Is

  1. Jeanne Apelseth November 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Exquisite writing and lovely observations.

    I always realize – usually too late and not often enough – that my best art happens after moments such as these….where I am forced to slow down or stop completely due to circumstances beyond my control.

    And it always seems to make the process of creating so wonderful when I finally return…so comforting and familiar. Thank you for expressing in words what I know in my mind but am unable to put on paper!

    Hope you are feeling better and taking good care of yourself.

    Jeanne

    • Laureen November 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

      It’s true, isn’t it? Slowing down seems to let us get outside ourselves. I think any way the realization comes is good – never too late, and always the hope that next time will be sooner.

      And thank you.

  2. Marlena November 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear that you were ill, Laureen, but so interesting to hear and see your creative reaction to your illness. Your painting has a muted delicacy and fragility to it that you may not have expressed otherwise. It caused me think of a book that I have been meaning to acquire and read for some time. The book is Miriam Bailin’s “The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction:The Art of Being Ill.” http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/literature/english-literature-1830-1900/sickroom-victorian-fiction-art-being-ill?format=PB
    Thank you the reminder of many things worthy of reflection.

    • Laureen November 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      You give me such pleasure with these comments. Thank you.

      I didn’t know of that book but will look for it. We seem to have lost that idea of illness as giving us space. Well worth thinking more about!

  3. Petrea Tomko November 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    I am so grateful you stopped, because the painting reflects the gift of your stopping. It shows “seeing” in the stopping, revealed in gentle beauty. The colors even breathe “I am rested.”

    • Jeanne Apelseth November 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      So true, Petrea, the painting is so serene and comforting. 🙂

      • Laureen November 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

        It’s harder for the artist to see these things. Thank you both for your new eyes. And for liking the piece. And for saying so!

  4. Jessica November 7, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    Laureen, just reading this makes me feel that sense of space and slowing down. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you are feeling better!

    • Laureen November 7, 2014 at 2:31 am #

      Jessica, may you have all the time and space you need!