I sit in comfort at a local ceramics shop, enjoying the joy and peace of painting a birdhouse. I use all colors of the rainbow as I create my special piece that has only my handprint upon it. I am joined by my boyfriend and ladies around me, all enjoying their relaxing time the same as I. There is Christmas music playing in the background. We share warmth and lightness as we chat with each other. All are intent on their work.
The subject matter we talk about has an extensive range. We share how far we’ve come with holiday shopping and errands that we must complete later in the day. We discuss different health issues and past experiences that bring us to the opinions we have formed. Each listening and understanding and painting as we go.
A subject comes up about a local news story where two young men were driving at a high speed and they lost control of their vehicle as it flew through the air and landed in the second story of a building. We all quietly continue to paint as we remark of what a terrible tragedy it was. We speak of the feeling of sadness for the parents of the deceased and we continue to paint. I observe in my mind, the contrast of the story and, the activity that we are partaking in. I know for myself that as I create in this relaxed situation, my heart aches for a dear loved one who is struggling with pure existence, unable to even speak without sobbing, striving for a new way of being. My heart hurts as I watch my boyfriend tackle his art creation through the pain of a severe work injury and being unsure of the outcome of said injury.
Each person at our table has trials and tribulations, heartaches and sadness that are alive and well in their lives at this very moment. Yet, we sit and paint. I am torn between the activity and the underlying pain we are all suffering. I somehow, cannot reconcile the two. As I sit and ponder the situation, I feel guilty for enjoying this moment of relaxation. I cry inside for what my family member is going through. I can only pray that he could have this moment of clarity in his life at this same moment. My tears continue to flow for people and situations that are unseen, unheard and unknown.
As I paint, I chat and I contemplate. I am an observer, aware of all the underlying pain and suffering each person is encountering in their lives. Realizing how unimportant and trivial some of our daily complaints are, I can feel a larger picture emerge right in front of me. There is a higher purpose here. There is a greater calling for all of us. We are all suffering in one form or another. Our families, children, grandchildren all have struggles. Our neighbors, our friends, people we come in contact with every day either as passersby or acquaintances we wave to as we drive by, they all have trials and sadness that we know nothing about. We all have a story. We all have heartache.
Our purpose is to love and be loved. Isn’t that what each of us really want? It’s a simple concept but hurt people, hurt people. We all begin life with a clean slate of joy and love. Newborns come into this life with pureness. Experiences passed on from generation to generation teach us a way to be. Sometimes it is not such a pretty outcome. But as I stated before, we are all in this together and we can help each other along the way. As stated by John Denver, “It’s about time we find out, it’s all of us or none.”
In comprehending this, we have an opportunity to share an even greater love for our fellow humans. We are all in this together whether we want to admit it or not. We are very much the same. Life is hard sometimes. It can be unbearable for some. As I sit and paint, I feel the underlying stories of each person I come in contact with. My heart is open and outstretched to share as much love as I have.