Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hanging in there...



This lovely begonia caught my eye at the local garden center several summers ago and insisted on coming home with me. It graced our front porch with its lush foliage and gorgeous flowers until the late autumn, when it deteriorated to a few mushy stumps and Señor Terremoto carried it off and dumped it upside down on a spot of bare soil behind the garage.

Now we do have mild winters here, but it does get below freezing at night for a few weeks every year. So it was with astonishment that Señor Terremoto reported one day in late spring that the begonia had new growth curling up from the underside of the lump of potting soil. He left it in place that summer and it developed into a fairly normal plant before it died back in the fall. The next spring, when new growth appeared -- now from the center of the lump -- Señor Terremoto planted it in a proper hanging basket. It was a satisfactory addition to the front porch, but nothing like its original self. When it died back last fall, he left it in the pot, watered it now and again over the winter, and we were rewarded with the extravagant beauty you see here.

Right now, I'm feeling a little like that begonia during its first winter. I've been going through some difficult times -- my dad is unhappily installed in a nursing home back in Wisconsin, in slowly declining health, and there are some family issues that make it even more stressful. My creative energy is in here somewhere, struggling to find a way back so it can flourish and bloom again. I haven't been very productive this summer, but with the support and encouragement of my friends, I'm trying to get into the studio to paint more often. Please bear with me.

25 comments:

  1. Chris, so sorry to hear it has been tough lately, and I will keep it in my prayers for you and for your Dad and family.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris, I am so sorry. I know first hand from where you are coming from (as certainly so many others do.) Like Mona before me I too will say a prayer. As artists we know all too well what happens creatively when hardship comes our way. Hang in there, let us know how things are going. My best to you, and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sometimes we expect so much of ourselves. Take care of yourself and you will come back beautiful and renewed, just like your begonia. May God bless you greatly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Tina and Vicki. I appreciate the support from everybody.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad you're hanging in there, but sorry it's so rough right now - keep your head up, keep your roots dug in, and keep watering...you'll bloom just like that begonia...

    Sending much creative energy your way...

    ReplyDelete
  6. It really is true - "to everything there is a season" - be it a begonia or an artist! In my mid-40's (what I'm guessing is close to your age now) I had a mother dying of cancer living with us, a hectic work life and hectic home life with young children - and a lot of "gray days" when I didn't think (or care) if I made it through. Life is not always pretty, but we muddle through. Sometimes it's just literally taking a step and a breath and repeating that until the crisis is over. It may not seem so now, but "this too shall pass". All you can do is "live it through" and you will come out the other side of this part of the journey stronger and wiser. It's the cycle of life, whether we like it or not. I too will send up some prayers for you and your family. You will get your energy and enjoyment back and your creative juices will flow again (I promise!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks to you both, Diahn and Deb. It's nice to know you are all pulling for me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Chris you have such a wonderful writing style.
    I find it hard to do anything when the folks closest to me are unsettled and or unwell and there isn't an easy way to respond or fix the situation. What I do know is that this may be a time to step back and get a clear perspective of yourself, and let all your feelings percolate, something will resonate and something great will come of all this.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for your sweet comment, Guy. I'm trying to take it moment by moment for now. Things will get better.

    ReplyDelete
  10. And like that begonia, you'll come back stronger, brighter, bolder, and more beautiful than ever! Big (((HUGS))) to you, Chris, as you go through this family stuff that causes so much stress. Know that you have so many people in your corner all the time, even if you can't see them right there :) When you start seeing them, it's really time for you to take a rest!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your artist fan club has offered good advice and wonderful support. We all travel the mountains and valleys and it's sometimes easier to do so with friends. It is comforting to know that for all of us at one time or another we have sat in the studio but have had our creative energy sapped by sorrow or worry or fear or anxiety. You are not alone. These are the days when I take my art books off the shelf and leaf through them or read art magazines and just "think" about creativity which is a healing thing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the hugs, Rhonda. And thanks for your thoughts too, Ginny. It's nice to know I have all this support.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chris,

    Just wanted you to know I'm hoping and praying for you also, and that physically we the blog world can not be there for you to give you a hug and help. But just know that we are here in a thoughtful way.

    God Bless,
    Take care of your soul first the art will take care of itself, true art I think has a reason for ryhmeing with "HEART".

    ReplyDelete
  14. One more wish for strengh and persevance and prayer coming your way, Chris. I also know how much harder the distance from home can make these times and yes, better days will come, for every one. Looks like you have many supportive friends. I hope some are close by. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Chris,

    I thought I'd visit your blog and when I did, learned of this difficult time you're going through. I know how hard it is to give energy to your art during times like these, but in fact, it may help with coping. I appreciate your taking time to reply to me and look at my blog when you've had this to deal with. I'm glad the spotlight article has brought more attention to your beautiful work.
    Thanks,
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for visiting my blog, Suzanne!! I certainly appreciated your email note too. Glad you like my work.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Chris, I spent an hour or so last night just reading and re-reading your Watercolor article, enjoying your art work so much. I couldn't wait to write to you today to tell you how inspiring your work is. When I visited your blog this morning, I wanted to reach out and hug and hug and hug you. Just breathe and take it a moment at a time. HUGS!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sandy, you are such a dear!! Thanks for the hugs. Glad you enjoyed the article!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. A beautiful testament to you green thumb. So sorry about your 'Life' issues, Chris. I have been fortunate not to have to face that heartbreaking move to the 'home'.
    Thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My heart goes out to you, Chris. I love the story about your begonia... may you regenerate, rebloom and flourish as it has done, all in good time. Bless you and your family.

    ReplyDelete

Stop in and say hello!!
(But please note -- I do not publish comments that include links to other blogs or websites.)