Thursday, May 21, 2015

Little Pockets of Joy (or how do you eat an elephant?)

Work In Progress: S.O.S. (Save Our Souls) 30" x 36" collage by Crystal Neubauer
Work in the studio goes slow these days. In the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my career as an artist, we moved to the south side of the city from the far north suburbs. It is a time of transition that came by surprise, but is so right. The next right action in a series of actions that have brought me closer to who I am and what I want my life to look like.

I drive back to my studio several days a week, but I'm limited to a set number of hours when I'm there or I deal with heavy traffic that lengthens my commute to nearly twice it's already long drive.

I feel it. the separation from the ability to create on a whim, to be able to run down before breakfast, or again after dinner to paint or glue. But the next has not fully opened up yet, and so I accept and I wait. And I seek out other means to feed my creativity.

A walk along the lake front with my husband. A drive after dark just to look at the city lights. Lunch with my girls, laughing as they make similar dance moves from their seats to the music without even looking at each other. These moments are my little pockets of joy.

I know the next will come. Incrementally it opens as I take the step before me. It's funny, I am being bombarded with reminders of this step by step process. Like the elephant analogy - how do you eat one? One bite at a time. Or the butterfly effect theory; how one small fluttering wing somewhere in the world can create a storm on the other side of the globe.

I am a work in progress.

Back at the studio this piece is nearing completion. It speaks of the global impact one person's actions can make. For the good or otherwise, how we treat other people matters. Oppression isn't a problem to be solved out there somewhere.

Just like the eating the elephant, climbing the stairs, or the near imperceivable movement of a tiny wing, how we view and treat other people in our daily lives is a step that makes a global difference. It is the thing you can do in the here and now. It doesn't have to be big. Smile at a stranger. Befriend someone who is not like you. Don't cross the street or look the other way. Move into the neighborhood. Defend the person being treated rudely. Rise up and own your own power and help empower your sister and brother.

And share your own little pockets of joy.


  1. beautiful art & inspirational words, Crystal! It's all about the journey, isn't it?

    1. It sounds so simple, but I am just beginning to understand the implications that life is right now, and not at some far away destination after everything is fixed or I've achieved all my goals. Awareness of the now. Wow!
      Thanks for stopping by Linda!

  2. INSPIRING work per usual. And with such GREAT WORDS, so WELL said Crystal. When we figure ANY of this out, it makes life easier (even when it's hard) and leaves us open for more options, just when we start to think there aren't many! xo

    1. Wise words yourself there Wanda! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!