Here is the pastel version of the charcoal sketch I posted earlier. I quite like this painting, but as much as I tried, I could not achieve the same wild, desolate mood that comes through in the charcoal version. I think the starkness of the black-and-white as well as the lower horizon and greater aspect ratio in the charcoal sketch contribute to that desolate mood.
I can see that I need to expand my pastel set now to include more deep, warm colors. In this painting I could not get the warm darks with the range of colors I now have, and I had to resort to black, which I prefer not to do.
My life pushes relentlessly toward its mysterious conclusion. About a week ago, I was on LinkedIn and was asked to endorse the skills of some of my contacts. In short succession, the profiles of two persons came up who I knew had passed away during the last two months. They were both younger than 65.
The thought struck me – if we expected, as a rule, to live no longer than 35, how different would it feel to walk – slowly, face turned to the sun – alive still at 47? How much deeper would we live, how much gratitude would there be for that feeling in the calf muscles as we step onto some sidewalk in the deep shade of some large tree?
I was thankful this evening for my teenage son, home from school, sharing with me his passion for exercise; to see how he revels in the discipline of his diet, keeping up with his school work – the feeling of starting to take command of his own young life.
I thought back to one of my favorite verses in the Bhagavad Gita:
For the man who is temperate in food and recreation, who is restrained in his actions, whose sleep and waking are regulated, there ensues a discipline which destroys all sorrow. (Bhagavad Gita: Chapter IV (17) - Translation by Radhakrishnan
How well I remember those teenage years, and how much I envy my son the life that is still ahead of him. And yet, happiness is here with me too. Truly, this is the best season of my life:
Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life. Wu-men (1183-1260), quoted in The Enlightened Heart, by Stephen Mitchell
Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are content and happy today.