I had an epiphany last night while I was drawing this. As I was drawing, I was remembering taking the reference photo. The nun didn’t want to be photographed. I think that she didn’t want to appear vain, and therefore give into her own pride. But she had a radiant smile and through my persistence, she let me photograph her. While drawing her I kept thinking about how peaceful she looked. I’ve noticed with all people that spend a lot of time in meditation or inward reflection, their outward appearance tends to glow. This is significantly true with the Peace Pilgrim and Scaughdt.

I’ve noticed in myself as well as I begin to eat better, think better thoughts, and love others more, my reflection in the mirror has changed. Many times in the past few years, years when I have lived my most selfishly ever, I have had the experience of little children being afraid of me. I attributed it to having thick stubble. In addition, I also thought, that I have a hard look, and that was due to my genetics…but it isn’t. I was selfish, harsh, and gave off stern looks. Children being rather astute, could pick up on this, while as adults we talk our minds out of it.

The epiphany that I had revolved around the idea that all people have beauty in them. This nun was radiating it. It was an honor to be able to draw her in her over-sized clothes. I felt like it was a prayer of thankfulness. I have really come to see that all thankfulness is just a prayer. Then it came to me. I have been struggling with the ethics of, how to, and the even the idea of supporting myself on this run. I have been questioning whether or not to charge money for, or sell my artwork. Drawing other’s portraits is a way to see their soul…I am the one who receives the gift. Drawing nature in all it’s splendor; I am the one who benefits the most. All these are gifts to me, how could I charge money for them? Then, the second epiphany came to me.

All people deserve to be drawn. In times past only the wealthy or elite could. One of our problems in the world is that we don’t have a face for the other. All people are good. People will go out of their way to help those that they know, we all would. We treat the world as a faceless mob because we don’t know them. My goal is to put a face on them. As I go, I will attempt to draw all the people I meet, and I will get to know them, learn from them, love them, and be loved by them. I will share their faces and their stories with you, so you get to know them too, and you are blessed as well. The 10,000 portrait project! The run I have planned is about 10,000 miles at about 25 miles a day. It isn’t possible to do 25 portraits a day too, but it is a nice goal: 10,000 portraits for peace. I would like to say the Million Portrait Project, but even 100,000 would take 54 years doing 5 a day, so 10,000 in a lifetime would be nice.

So to summarize:

1. I will attempt to paint and draw the portrait of the people that I meet, with a goal of 1o,ooo.

2. I will give the portraits to the sitters to remind themselves of their own inner beauty.

3. I will do the portraits as a form of prayer and thankfulness for the beauty of humanity, and the divine that dwells within them.

4. I will attempt to share the beauty of the world with the world.

5. For all the other artwork, I will ask a donation of $100 to help further the cause, but will accept more or less as people have ability, need, or occasion.

After coming to that conclusion, it was the first time I had slept well all week. I am happy to use what gifts I have for the greater good. I am happy to be used. I am happy to know how to give and receive. Then this morning, looking through an art book I read this passage:

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”