Life being life, I have time to follow only two blogs. One is Maria Popova’s BrainPickings, as you know, and the other is “Raptitude,” (which comes from Winnipeg, it turns out. Of course.) Although David Cain posts infrequently, I know now to drop everything else and stop to read his long and wise reflections when one arrives.
Last week, his post on “How to Enjoy Life” was aimed squarely at me and my lousy attitude about the multitude of small jobs which proliferate in December. He made the point that if we could make the habit of “taking even mild pleasure in such tasks,” it would be life-changing because, as they say, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” I have been giving it a crack and I think he’s right. Given the option, it is surely better to build the intention to enjoy the unglamorous moments instead of being anxious to get them over with so as to get to the “enjoyable parts.”
Do consider subscribing to raptitude.com; it’s free, well written and thought-provoking, and you will receive an email whenever a new piece is posted. Its subtitle is “getting better at being human.” Yeah, Team Homo sapien sapiens.
To ice the cake, I managed last week to carve out six hours to do this grisaille of one of my favourite scenes. I find value-study underpainting aesthetically appealing (like old sepia-tone photographs), and often am tempted to leave them alone and avoid the ugly duckling stage which follows. The only thing pushing me forward through all of the other layers of a glaze oil painting is a desire to see that canoe claim its glorious turquoise hull. We will see which urge wins.