Friday, April 23, 2010

calm space

Each day, I aim to reward myself with a moment of what I like to call, "A still life." As a mother, life is anything but still, situations arise on a lark and the ability to reason, to decipher and to rationalize every little thing certainly helps to keep one on the prowl for that inner calm that no storm can shake.
One of my favorite paintings by Manet is this fair maiden, working at the Folies Bergere. This work was one of his last paintings and to me, it evokes a still calm in life's chaos. In the reflection behind this pretty maiden, is a hustling bustling room, full of dancers, acrobats, music, and party people. Look again, and there is a man who appears to be ordering a beverage. Look in the top left corner, do you see the green socked feet of the lady acrobat perched perilously above the audience on a swing.

The maiden seems to be unruffled, she has a look of calm, in her moment of a not so still room. The signature dish or clementines denoting nature, order and freshness. Perhaps tonight was her turn to work the bar and she would rather be on the trapeze or the stage but instead, she appears like an outsider, behind the bar, looking within.

This week, I am challenged to find that calm space, to know that whatever life serves me, that there is a higher order. Emotions pull me, one twin son fell on the tennis court and at first what seemed to be a fracture is now a sprain of not one but of 3 ligaments. The other twin son was awarded and inducted into the National Honor Society. All of these events took place in a matter of a mere 24 hours. I guess you can imagine my test to rise to meet each occasion with a certain "grace" under pressure. Just like the above maiden, with all the action around her, she is choosing to remain calm, to find that still space, perhaps unattached, numb, but feeling inspired to find a moment of contentment with the blossoms in her bosom.

The lilacs are waiting for me, to clip them, to bring them in, to arrange a still life in a hectic one. Take a look here to find more about the calm space. I am honored to have been noted for inspiration and for looking around me to find everyday beauty. Thank-you Karen.

What inspires you to bring about calm to your space in the midst of whatever life decides to serve you? I hope I have provided inspiration for you to pick some blossoms, arrange them as you like and leave a few to tuck in your bosom, just to see if anyone notices.
Perhaps that is all the woman wanted, was to see if anyone noticed her calm collected self.
Paintings by Manet, Lilacs in a vase, Woman behind bar

*Winner of the Mothering Mother bags, is Pretty Pink Tulips. Please congratulate Elizabeth with a comment and welcome her to the not so calm world of blogging. She is a newbie, so we all remember that feeling of mistakes, and not being pretty or good enough. C'mon, don't you?

18 comments:

Barbara said...

Patricia,
Woman Behind the Bar is indeed a total reflection, of the bar and her inner reflection. So as a daily reader of your blog I have to say congrats on the achievement of twin #1 and get well wishes to
twin #2--in the same breath (or sentence). Take heart, take a moment, a few moments, make a special illustration for yourself, maybe of something you see during your run, etc. From me, bg.

pve design said...

Barbara,
Thanks, I will look for those blossoms in each and every breath! Thanks for your kind wishes to my twins.
Yes, time out for a special illustration always brings a calm to my space.
pve

Joyce said...

Oh my friend your 24 hours sounded like a whirlwind ride at the amuzement park.

A BIG congrats to your son for making the HS! Also I am sending BIG positive wishes for your other son's ankle to heal fast and proper so he can enjoy the summer with no restrictions.

Welcome Elizabeth and congratulations! I'm off to visit her blog. xo

Southern Lady said...

I have had many days like yours. Yesterday, however, was a be still day. I did bring in some flowers from my snowball bush to enjoy during my quiet time. Carla

Debra said...

What was it Mama said~ there will be days like this? Perhaps all of this happened at once as to allow you much calm in the future. When a child has an injury, somehow our work-load increases...when we already have a full plate.
I love this painting-there is so much to take in. Maybe she's so calm due to a Kir Royale just out of view..... Blessing to you darlin'.

pve design said...

Carla,
Good to know that others around me find calm in the stillness of life's blossoms.
pve

Debra,
hmmm and a kir royale in my future - sounds delightful. Enjoy your friday.
pve

Style Chronicle said...

Just what I need! After hosting 50 people in my home last night, I need to create some room to be still and quiet. Thank you.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I hope your son is recovering ok!
Lilacs are my favorite flower -their scent will give you a moment to pause and regain composure. Keep at it!

Kwana said...

I love this painting. Seems we're thinking alike but different today both looking to be grounded. I will purposefully find that calm space this weekend. Thanks.

Helen Young said...

Patricia -
I aim to create a still space each day myself. Although some times it is difficult with 3 children, 2 dogs etc. Reading your blog often creates the quiet in me so that I can then take a few minutes to be still. Your blog is a haven.

N said...

I brought some lilacs in from my yard this week and they are soooo yummy to perk up my house. Come by to clip if you are out. ;)

Nancy B. Hartley said...

Patricia, What a thoughtful and inspiring post. Your message is so encouraging. Best wishes for good health for your one son, and congratulations, to the other son. Your attitude is wonderful, the epitome of grace under pressure!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Ah, yes, motherhood is a storm of emotions - a lovely storm but a storm nonetheless - amidst which we sometimes need to find a little island of calm and meditation.

I love those dangling feet, btw ;)

24 Corners said...

The beauty that is all around us is a gift...a blessing, not only to purely enjoy but also to be comforted by. The harried times will always be there but a lilac, a beautiful painting, a breathtaking vista will always be there too, bringing with them a dose of calming delight.

Get well wishes and congratulations to your sons....

xo Jessica~

Karena said...

I have always loved the Manet painting & the symbolism in it. You do need your calm time.In doing your creativity in paintings; my hope is that it brings you that peace.

Karena
Art by Karena

VictoriaArt said...

Patricia,
What a few days you must have had! Hope the waters are calmer now. I am so sorry to hear about your son's injury! I hope he recovers soon, but it sounds rather like a slow process! Give him my well wishes!
How to calm myself when everything goes off somehow? I usually try to be in nature, garden, walking, park or just being by myself. Being alone without a to-do list attached to my wrist is lately the greatest gift to myself.

Hope your weekend will be more on the relaxing side!
Thinking of you!

XX
Victoria

Karen said...

Patricia,
It's such an honour to have you share your wisdom and talent with us at The Calm Space! Thank you!

I think you have proved this week that, like the girl in the Manet, it is possible to be calm in ourselves even as the storm rages about us. Sometimes it's the only thing we can do...

Congrats to one son and commiserations to the other!

Cathy said...

I always thought the Manet girl looked a bit melancholy, as if she would prefer not being there at all.