Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking Notes

At dinner Sunday night, my friend was talking about her brother closing his business in the midst of the recession and moving south. Selling his house in the suburbs of New York and buying a bigger one in the suburbs of Atlanta for a quarter of the price. Why, another friend asked. Why did he decide to uproot his life like that?

Apparently, he had been riddled with anxiety as a young man, and had learned that the way to handle it was to simplify his life. It was all about finding a less demanding way to live. It was one of those notes I heard loud and clear. Simplify.

Two other notes I put in the hopper this weekend, as part of a movement toward simplicity, which in some way I equate with finding peace. Begin to paint again, stir the restlessness within, let color and movement take over. I have been playing with this thought for a while now, and on Sunday night, at dinner with my friends, including two seventeen year olds who are taking art classes for the summer, it crystallized. Paint. Do art. Be in the flow of creating something.

The other note, which I took from the example of my cousin and her husband, was do something for someone else. It felt good this weekend to contribute in some small way to the effort to send four young people to college. The lesson I took from it was, be of service. Do some good.


  1. I cannot wait to see where your art takes you.

  2. Amen! All good things. When I feel anxiety taking over because I feel as though my life is getting out of control I do something to remind myself that everything I am doing is of my own creation. It can feel sometimes like I am being ruled by the things I want to do so to take back control I will simply not do it. It may mean I take a day off to do nothing or drop something all together but it usually puts me back on track. That and sleep.

  3. Wise words (although as someone who grew up in Atlanta, I have to say that I'd FAR rather live a complicated life in NYC than a simple one in Atlanta!).

  4. What have I been telling you all along? "Give me the Simple Life". m.

  5. clear out the undergrowth.
    plant the seeds of creativity.
    give away the bounty.

    tending your garden, angella.

  6. Being of service, which can take so many forms, is the greatest gift we have to offer. You do that here, with your stories of love and family and with honesty about your inner conflict, when it arises. The joy of purpose, extending ourselves. Slower, simpler and definitely with art restored...my same desires, same goals. I've gotten pretty good at the slower part. The rest, and I, are works in progress. xo

  7. all wonderful things!!

    simplify simplify i like that rallying cry!!

    i have been working on that ....i believe it will be a lifelong project as life sometimes has a habit of throwing one some complicated knots!

    hey....is a trip to oberlin still in the game plan this summer? would love to meet you it's just a stone's throw from cleveland and of course anything i can do to make it happen, just whistle!!

  8. Hope he doesn't have to commute.

  9. Thank you all, for the support and simply for being here.