I'd love to say my New Year is going smoothly. I'm contentedly working in the studio, churning out innovative, new work full of energy and enthusiasm. Sorry. I'm really bad at lying.
Bumpity. Bumpity. Bump.
I feel a little like Pooh bear going down the stairs with Christopher Robin. I'm seeing the world from a little sideways view, or perhaps upside down, and each step is definitely bumpy. I had a cold for a few weeks followed by the flu, so my aches and pains were real. And many days, I feel like Pooh, a little 11'o clockish.
I wish I had Christopher Robin around to bring me a balloon to grab onto and sail away into the bright, blue sky. I could wonder at the puffy, white clouds. Chat about honey pots and bees. And find myself a cozy spot to sit in the sun and pass the tea and honey, please.
Pooh or Rabbit?
I'm probably more like Rabbit than Pooh, actually. I'm usually bustling about, planning, making lists, throwing, trimming, painting and doing. Pooh is the essence of non-doing. That wonderful Zen idea of doing without pushing sounds so wonderful. I've always thought that was a great way to live life. Be mindful. Be in the moment. Be Pooh.
When I'm sick, I can't help but not do. I'm in the moment because my body totally runs the show. When I'm hungry, I eat whatever it wants. If that's Nutella on toast for dinner or chicken soup for breakfast, that's what I eat. If it says rest, I rest. If it says, stare out the window, I stare.
Not doing gets boring but maybe that's a good thing.
Rabbit, the go-getter of the group, never stops doing. But he also never, ever seems to be done. His tasks, lists, chores go on and on and on. It's exhausting and he's always frazzled and crabby.
Pooh on the other hand, sits a lot eating honey under a tree. But when he does need more honey, he gets up and finds it. He doesn't plan or make a list or pack a bag or organize everyone around him. He looks up and down and around right where he is sitting. He figures it out, finds the honey then sits down and enjoys it.
I can see that sitting and staring outside on a window seat or under a tree can be a very good thing.
No, I didn't get anything done in the studio in the last 4 weeks. But nothing bad happened. I sat and stared at the clouds, found some funny faces staring back at me from the tree branches outside my window and saw a rainbow pop up out of the dark, rainy sky.
My work sat patiently, like Pooh under the honey tree, and waited for me.
Even if the beginning of the year was a bit bumpy, I think I like being a little less like Rabbit and a lot more like Pooh.
(Illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard)