In the Middle of the Ocean

Artist on the Loose

A blog by an artist

Sharing what I do and see and hoping it inspires you!  

SHARING FOR THE GENEROUS

Bob Stitt

 

 February has just passed, it was the month of LOVE. I have learned a lot about love this last month. Some bitter, some sweet, some powerful, some unconditional but most of all love that is healing.

I lost my father on Jan 24, 2018. He passed unexpectedly after catching the flu that is stealing the life from many this season. That is the bitter love. The absolute purist pain of losing someone you love. The void, the ………. indescribable hurt. He was a good father to me. Because of him, I understood that unconditional love is the highest love. I grew up with the security of his love - no matter what trouble I got myself in. He often said that “true wealth is measured in love, not money”. It is a powerful thought I revisit often, it keeps me humble and it keeps me kind. Dad was a compassionate man, often telling me to empathize with those I encounter, to stick up for those with no voice, cheer for the underdog, fight for those wronged. 

After he passed most of my siblings, my mother and some of our children & spouses gathered at my brothers. We pulled out all the old photos we could find and reminisced and cried and laughed. It was that unconditional love he taught us manifesting through generations. A sweet love of memories. I also realized that day that we each had an individual relationship with my dad, we each had our own vault of memories and experiences that equaled our sum of him.

My three children were with me when I went to his apartment after he passed. They held me, physically held me up, while I crumbled in grief and despair. It was a powerful love they were showering on me. They were my strength when I could not be theirs. The cocoon of love that surrounded me throughout receiving the news, to making the arrangements, attending the memorial service, cleaning out his home and having unexpected “difficult days” that still continue, was equally as powerful as the grief. Kind words, friends insisting on stopping by or flying in to just give me a hug, phone calls, and cards continue to keep me afloat. 

Along with love comes gratitude, a deep, pure, endless well of gratefulness that I can never express to everyone. Grateful love is absolutely delicious and healing. 

Now as the weeks are passing by and I am supposed to “get back to normal, get with it” I am learning more about self-love. Being patient, forgiving & tender with my self. A dear friend of mine always says you are exactly where you're supposed to be. “Being” emotionally and physically. Right now I physically find my self on a 14-day cruise through the Panama Canal. A trip we planned some time ago with another couple. A trip I almost canceled because my dad was in the hospital - but didn’t have to cancel because he died. It is a bit complicated, this trip, because I am still grieving and also because I am an artist. I know I will not end my grieving process until the Art comes out of me. Until I spill my insides into some physical manifestation of my hurt. Right now I am in the middle of the ocean - we just passed Cuba - floating with thousands of people, some on a trip of a lifetime. Me, I am just on a journey, healing one day at a time, one hour at a time, eager to get back to the studio.