Making Merry

Winter Thoughts Artist Andrew Conti

It has been a good year.

Of course, I can’t point to any moment this year as a specifically spectacular event. I can’t say that there was some tremendous change in my life, an opening of the clouds, The arrival of aliens, the appearance of a city before me. Nothing like that. Still, in all, it was a good year.

What I have seen and feel grow this year is the thumping of a distinct rhythm, an emphatic heartbeat to my existence and a distinct clarity to my present and future. Somewhere along the road this year, I noticed that the wheels of my efforts are beginning to turn, gravity is starting to help rather than hinder.

It’s a good place to be.

I sold a few paintings, received an award for another, had my work featured in a local paper. I achieved my own goals in terms of my studio practice, and being consistent with my drawing and writing. I continued to build my practice, and feel more and more is possible as I keep working.

There is paint all over the floor and a thin layer of charcoal dust in areas unreachable by the vacuum.

All good things.

The wheels are turning.

I’m never very good at tooting my own horn, or celebrating accomplishments. It’s very easy for me to see what has yet to be done. The unfinished projects or the as of yet un-started plan are what fill my thoughts. I am always sketching, scheming, planning my next project, the next painting, the next steps. It seems so much easier for me to focus on those things I want to do, to keep on pushing along.

It is far more difficult for me to stop and count my blessings. To quietly acknowledge the distances traveled, and the new view. Still, I am realizing it is very important to do so. Otherwise, why do this?

What I like about this time of year is the embracing of darkness, the celebration of the land un-planted. Winter brings stillness, and that is a very good thing. It’s a part of the cycle of things, the needed calm and quiet of things that will grow when the time is right.

The pagans drew suns on their winter breads as a reminder that it would return. And then they got on to some serious midwinter partying.

So, I’m working on reflection this wintry day. Today will be to relax and acknowledge all that’s been done. Focusing in on the things I have done. Giving each of them a name, and giving each of them their time in my mind. An accounting of what matters to me.

And in this quiet, in this dark in which I’m writing, my mind turns to you. Whoever you are that stops by this little blog of mine. Who shares in all the thoughts and images I am offering up.

Who are you folks? And what have you gotten going in the past year? Let me know below should you have a bit of time. I’d love to acknowledge it with you.

And then I will get on to making merry.