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Look in the Windshield, Not the Rearview Mirror

June 9, 2014

When you get to be my age, you seem to spend an inordinate  amount of time looking in the rearview mirror.  I have tried to figure out why looking backwards holds so much appeal.  After all, more often than not, what you see back there isn’t all that bad; could have used a bit of tweeking, could have used a bit more attention to details, could have used more thought, more compassion, more effort, more enjoyment….

The entire exercise is not unlike a painting that keeps drawing you back in, in hopes that it can be salvaged/improved upon.  I have paintings sitting right here in my studio that have been with me for 8 or more years, with the expectation of closure and the promise of satisfactory completion.   When should one decide that enough is enough and that no more energy need be spent on beating the proverbial dead horse.  Maybe the situation is just as it is meant to be and that painting lurking on the perimeter is fine just as it is.  Move on, next step, new adventure.

For one who weighs options  ad infinitum, both professionally and personally, the rearview mirror is nothing short of exhausting.  I have friends, for instance,  that can paint a large 30 x 40 painting in 2 hours….finished. done.  They don’t look backwards, don’t wonder ‘what if’.   Their process is a sense of marvel for me.  That same painting for me might take weeks and 5 years from now I might be wondering if I had truly finished it.    I long to make a decision, commit, execute and c’est fini.

The act of creation is bred on inspiration, ingenuity, exploration and the unleashing of our divine spirit.  Since each day and each painting is our creation, looking through the windshield is our only viable option.  I have a friend to thank for this little bit of inspiration.  Thanks friend.  Onward!

Bon soir, mes amies!……yep, I am still working on my French. 🙂


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