“Juggling, is dropping things…in style”. I got that quote from an email my good friend Scaughdt sent me. When the ball drops, it just indicates where a hand “could” have been to avoid it…not necessarily “should” have been. The fall is neither good nor bad, just a state change, from potential to kinetic, from floating to falling…not failing.

A dear friend cautioned me recently that my words as of late could be construed as “begging”. Meaning, by voicing the actualities of this pilgrimage, by enunciating the trials and tribulations of any quest, I walked a fine line.

No one could have foreseen all the adventures, mishaps, successes, and set backs that I’ve encountered along this trip. It has been as much a learning lesson for you the reader as for me the artist. Yet one thing has remained consistent throughout this journey, the original message.

“It all begins with gratitude. Love, help, make art & peace.

Gratitude doesn’t suppose you know what is coming. Rather, it depends upon your expectations being absent. When you expect nothing, and the universe gives you peace…how could you not be grateful?

The other side is expecting A, but then receiving B. Or, perhaps more troubling, receiving nothing at all. I have found that this situation is far more difficult. In order to experience gratitude you must leave your old expectations, and become empty. Then when something or nothing arrives you receive it with the same bliss.

When physical troubles beset me, my expectation was that I would triumph. I didn’t expect to be thwarted at all, but now that I was/am, my expectations had to change. My body is still not happy, but I’m here…I’m still willing.

What I do know is that through everything that I have gone through thus far, everything has been provided. Yes, I ask for water. Yes, I asked to stay at a firehouse, but for the most part the last 7 months have been at the behest of the universe and the goodness of strangers. And I, for my part, am doing my best to put myself in line with that, namely peace and love.

When I go to a Starbucks, it isn’t for the caffeine…while there I only ask for water. But I go there because that is where you are (plus they have internet and clean bathrooms as my friend Leo points out). I don’t eat at McDonalds, but I go there because most people do.

The Greeks had the baths, and we have the coffee shop. My father once gave me good advice. He said, “Find your friends in the library. There you will find people seeking truth, not those trying to teach it.”

On any morning I can go to McDonalds or Starbucks and find a catch all for society. Old men and women sitting around talking. Rich and poor, young and old are together. It provides a vista onto a microcosm of society. I sit drink water or perhaps tea, and wait for the opportunity to love on someone with a painting or with words and ideas.

This is what I juggle. I live without a care, or try to. I seek to love anyone, not just the loveable. I paint the beauty I choose to see all around me. And, when a ball drops, it only indicates to me my next point of growth.

Thanks for following along with me as I learn these lessons. Much love to you.