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The Zen in Rituals

I love rituals. There is something so comforting in them for me. I like surprises - good ones like when Draw comes home with a bouquet of flowers or a box of popsicles or a bag of sunflower kernels (simple pleasures). But I also like my rituals. Doing the same thing every morning as I greet a new day. 

One protracted but appreciated ritual is making my morning cup of coffee. I spend a half hour making that cup - grinding the beans, pulling the espressos, frothing the milk. It takes me a whole lot longer to make the thing than it does to drink it but even the making is a familiar ritual that brings me some pleasure.

I've added a new ritual to my mornings - I like to think of it as "zen painting". Just quiet time for about 30 minutes where all I think about is water and paint.

I took control of the kitchen table and turned it into an ersatz studio. I have a pretty view of our back garden right now and I try to keep this space under control and in a kind of zen state because I can be a very messy artist.

It's from this spot that I paint with watercolor, a medium that never really appealed to me that much. I suddenly love how the water and paint interact with each other and how they move around the page and it feels so relaxing. With my lack of expertise (I'm still learning) it's always a surprise to see what comes of it. I generally have no expectations apart from hoping that I'm not going to end up tossing my painting out because it's crap. I try not to put those stifling thoughts into my head. I just want to play. Sometimes the paintings turn out okay and sometimes they get cut up and put in a box of scraps for who knows what.

And I've also revisited a love from, like, a million years ago... weaving. I used to create wall hangings with fibers and rovings - weaving on frames made of twigs and branches. I wish I had photos of those - who knows where those got to.

I designed a small loom because I'm loving tiny art right now and pulled out some fibertastic goodies I picked up in England seven or eight years ago. Finally... I'm living proof that those art supplies we buy and leave in bags hanging on the bedroom or studio door are some day going to be rediscovered and used. So, keep buying that stuff, my friends! There's an idea percolating in your head that's going to sprout wings and you need to be ready for it.

My first re-attempt at weaving...

It was like getting back on a bike after 25 years and riding again. I only fell down five or six times but I persevered. And I'm ready to try again.

The little loom is super easy to warp and the weaving, mistakes and backtracks included, took me all of an hour. More about the little loom can be found by clicking the photo, below. What a great excuse to collect cool fibers, laces, ribbons, string, yarns on your next trip. 

I feel this might become an evening ritual after the hubbub of the day quiets down and the laser is turned off. I will commandeer the right side of our sofa boat and turn it into my weaving studio. I've always loved fibers and yarns and strings and twigs and I am quite sure there are many hours of wefting to be enjoyed over a cup of chamomile tea.

Happy creating and TTFN!


  • Post author
    Gale Blair