Friday, December 28, 2007

The Listeners

Though it doesn't look it, the sky is still and silent, as if it were holding its breath. In the next moment it will exhale and all hell will break loose, the storm will rule the day until its nighttime. These listeners are waiting for it, almost religiously. They have no control over the events here, and want none. They are witnessing, they can hear what is coming, they are the audience, the observers. Knowing they have no responsibility, they are released from wanting any, therefore free. This is different from being out of control, this is liberation.

A liberation I have been experiencing is the freedom from stuff. Noel and I once owned a 2 story, 3 bedroom house with a full basement and 2 car garage in Chicago. It was full of stuff. We sold that house in September 2006 and moved to Los Angeles into a 1500 square foot loft. 1500 square feet Period. Where did all our stuff go?

We sold some, gave lots away. People came and took our plants, fish, big furniture we didn't want to move. On moving day, our 16' Penske was jammed tightly by the two very talented movers we hired to pack it. They tried as hard as they could, but we still had a lawn full of Stuff. Hilarious. In a panic, and having to be out of the house before the new owners showed up, we called my sister whose husband came over in a huge van, filling it with furniture and more Stuff we couldn't squeeze into our Penske.

At the other end, here in the loft in LA, it was a good thing we didn't have a bigger truck. No way would all that stuff have fit into this place and still leave room for us.

I have since learned to live with less stuff. Anything brought into my home will need to be put someplace, and there is no basement or extra closet in which to throw it. It's hard to hide anything here. Liberating! Kind of like a reformed smoker, I wax poetically about not having so much stuff lying around. I go through what I do have regularly, and since it's hard to hide much of it away, I get rid of more. This is easier than it used to be, and is working for me on all kinds of levels.

I have a good friend who lived in San Francisco at the time of the last big earthquake there in 1989. She used to have all her good crystal and china in a cabinet, never using it much. Until the quake, when she realized she could have lost it all, and began using what survived that quake everyday. She learned to enjoy what she had, and that what was lost was really, after all, just Stuff.

"The Listeners" 2005 32"x40"


Sue O'Kieffe said...

I love your perspective on liberation from stuff. I love the freedom of having less and making room for the new. I went through a huge purging process over two years ago, and most of the time I don't miss anything I released. Congratulations!
Consider yourself officially tagged. Rules are on my blog. Come join the fun!
~sue o'kieffe

dianeclancy said...

Hi Kris,

Beautiful painting! I love the flowers.

Stuff, sigh ... you are much better than I am! But I haven't moved in over 30 years ... and have no desire to every move again.

But I do try to use my stuff more rather than just keep the good stuff safe and all .. now if I can just get back to physical painting and start using my stuff! (Be

~ Diane Clancy

Debi said...

Spectacular painting! And I love the title, too. I like its companion, Moon Stories, as well. Really lovely and I've been here several times admiring them even though I'm only now commenting.

I went to your etsy shop, to daydream and to scheme -- how to get my hands on one of your paintings :) Will you be putting more on etsy? Would you consider adding the status of your paintings when you post them on your blog? (Sold, On Exhibit, Private Collection, Available on Etsy, etc.) I guess that means you would have to update the posts as the status changed. Hm. Still, it would be good to know. Maybe on the side bar?

I'm full of labor intensive ideas for others! ;)

self taught artist said...

you've made me see flowers in a different way. i'm not a flower person, nor a fan of looking at paintings of them...but your flowers are just strange enough to wake me up. (thats a compliment)