Never play “hide-and-go-seek” with destiny…you’ll always loose.

I haven’t worn the Peace Artist mantle since the Oregon Country Fair; not for any particular reason—just haven’t. Despite that, the universe has seen fit to do with me as it wishes, it will do what is necessary, what is needed.

There are only two art supply stores in town, and I hadn’t been to one of them. Now let me point out from the start, I went with the explicit intention not to buy anything; god only knows I don’t need any more art supplies. Perhaps you saw this coming, but they had paper there that is really hard to find, and a couple paints that I didn’t know were made, and well…I promise I will use them for others. Impressed with the supply I mentioned it to the woman helping me, Laura, and she beamed with pride. Out of generosity, she gave me 2 free tubes of paint; kindness.

Wanting to show my appreciation for her magnanimous gift, I sought out and found a bed of roses in the center of the University of Oregon campus with which to use the newly acquired paints. There I began in earnest to depict as best I could the object of my gaze. Upon laying the final brush strokes, I was approached by a young man, who asked about my efforts. He recounted to me that he was a reporter for the school newspaper, and wondered if he might photograph and interview me.

Soon his partner came to his side and she too patiently waited on my answers. She then asked if she could record my work and responses. Flabbergasted and flummoxed, nervousness and anxiety set in. “This was it” I thought to myself, this is the first interview of The Peace Artist…this is how it starts. As quickly as that mental disquiet came, it left to be replaced by peace and composure. I realized that the answers would be there when I needed them. “If” this quest, as I believe it is, is divinely or cosmically inspired, then why would the universe leave me without the words to convey the message when I sorely needed them.

“…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father Speaking through you.”

And…that is exactly what happened. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t stay on topic well when I speak, and I take a long time to get to the point. But, in this case the words coming out of my mouth weren’t mine, and not once did an “umm” pass my lips. After talking with them for 20 minutes, she said, “I should turn the camera on.” I chuckled, and worried that the words wouldn’t come as easily as they had the first time…but they did; fluidly and with no effort on my part.

We talked of compassion, the reason for doing this trek, and the fact that none of our actions are futile. We talked of the calming realization that none of us can or have to solve the problems of inner and world peace alone. We need only do what we can, when we can, to passionately love the other.

If the interview is used, great. If not, peradventure there was another reason or purpose; perhaps only to make two new friends. I doubt that any of us left our encounter unchanged.

After the interview a young musician named Jonathan began to play his violin as sweetly as any I’ve ever heard not 50 yards from where I was painting. I and several others sat and listened to him play. He was a Peace Artist too. He didn’t put out his case, or a cup, he was doing it for the love of the music, and the love of others. Perfect. I sketched him while he played and later gave him the drawing for which he was ecstatic. Giving him a hug and saying goodbye, I felt I had met yet another kindred spirit. Hamsao.

I went back and found Laura, my generous supplier. I gave her the rose painting, a painting that meant so much more, because of the experiences of the day. She asked me if I wanted more paint, and I replied jokingly, “Huh…you just want more paintings?” We all laughed, I gave her a hug, and I signed it Peace #46. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera today, so I don’t have her or Jonathan’s drawings.

Finally, I went and painted this pastel, for my mother, at the Education College. I obviously didn’t have enough time to finish it, but I think it stands up well enough as-is. Pastels have become a new favorite of mine, and will be certainly making the trip.