Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Perception of Reality

"Most of our strong emotions arise from assuming the reality of something that is unreal."  
~His Holiness The Dali Lama

"Sunrise" Watercolor Journal page inspired by Robin Mead of "Insights and"

Do you ever feel like your thoughts sometimes get so jumbled that what you perceive as reality in actuality is unreal?  I had a professor in college who walked into the first class of the year, headed straight for the black board and scrawled across it in HUGE lettering...

She told us that if we walk away from college with nothing else in our heads, we should remember this, and since then I've discovered that in so many aspects of life, it is true...sadly!!  I think one of the most unfortunate realities of our time is the prevalence of mis-perceptions.  I'm not even sure why I'm thinking about this today, I guess it has something to do with my fears about our storm clean up, the insurance settlement, the destruction of what was our beautiful green, park-like home.  I'm stuck on the doom and gloom, convincing myself that it's going to be a nightmare, we'll never get our house back to the way it was, insurance won't pay out what it's going to cost, etc. etc.  I'm stuck on this reality and it's not even real...YET!

"Sunflower" Neocolour II & Twinkling H2O's in journal

I look at our home now and what I once saw was a green oasis, a sanctuary of nature. I spent so much time in my garden enjoying the flowers, the trees, and mostly the bird and wild life. They are such inspiration to me and with these things gone now, I'm scared that my inspiration will disappear too.  In their place there is sawdust and tree stumps and thanks to the blistering heat wave of the past week, charred brown grass.  It seems so unreal to me, but it's yet another new reality to which I must adjust.

"Double Impatience" Watercolor Journal

The same thought process can be applied to so many other aspects of our crazy lives.  The proliferation of our addiction to cyber-space is a perfect example.  What is reality there?  The manufactured lives we live out on Facebook? The feelings of anxiety when we are disconnected for any length of time?  The overwhelming need to self-validate using what our friends post as a benchmark?  Or worse, the often unintentional judgements we make about people based on profile pictures and status updates?

"Climbing the Walls" Twinkling H2O in Journal

I've just joined these social networks in the past month or so and I'm agog at how fast they move, how skewed some peoples perceptions of boundaries and courtesy have become. Even more frightening is the lack of attention some people pay to what they post.  The internet is written in INK!!  It can't be erased, it can't be hidden.  There is so much chatter, so many choices, that so much of what is real gets blurred in the chaos.
"Graceful Beauty" Twinkling H2O in journal
On the other hand, it has proven to be an invaluable medium for me to connect to like minded people.  People who share so many of the same interests and people who I consider mentors, teachers, and guides along my artistic and somewhat personal journey.  I love the openness, honesty, and courage of some people, and I love it when others respond with encouragement and compassion (which doesn't always happen).   I am of the mindset that by the very nature of humanity, we are all flawed in some way, no one is perfect (as we would like so many people to believe), and I don't think we need to to try to prove you? 

Thanks for checking in. xx