New Year’s Gratitude

New Year’s Gratitude

by Cathleen Elise Rossiter

Iberê Camargo Museum, Porto Alegre, Brazil  - site plan

There is no getting around the fact that I am a bundle of contradictions. At once, the consummate planner with an adventurous spirit of spontaneity. Making plans and lists and alternate plans and alternate lists is a near constant occupation for my brain.

The plan doesn’t even have to be mine and it does not matter what type of plan “it” is. A particular favorite down-time activity (did you catch the contradiction there?) of mine is to go through books of home plans and re-imagine the layouts. I love re-working spaces in as many configurations as I can

Christmas Baking Joydream up, or re-decorating them to suit various styles, often using traditional things in unexpected ways (like the Christmas cookie jars I have been using to hold my baking supplies of flour and various sugars – a counter lined with seasonal happiness).

Planning, for me, is an exercise in hope and possibility which always leads to gratitude. Unleashing the possibilities in front of me (regardless of how fantastical or unattainable they may seem) through the process of making a plan and it’s accompanying list of things to do to achieve it – or of related possibilities, following them as they branch out, some taking leaf – helps me to weed out the real from the unreal, the plausible from the unattainable. Once I see all the roads available to me on which to begin the next journey, only then do I have the power to choose the right road for the journey I need to take.

As I see the universe of possibility laid at my feet, I recall all the reasons I have to be grateful. My gratitude begins as a babbling brook with family, friends, basic necessities. Following each related reason for gratitude, my babbling brook becomes a river pouring into an insatiable ocean of things for which I am grateful. Is it any wonder that I love planning and list-making?typewriter thank you

In this new year before us, I thank you, kind readers for your faithfulness, your willingness to share your appreciation of Art Life Connection with me and the world, and your patience in allowing me the time I need to rest, refresh and rejuvenate my creative juices in order to always give you my best. Without you, dear friends, I would not muster the motivation to write and to push myself beyond my self-imposed boundaries. Knowing that you are here, waiting patiently, encouraging my personal growth that you may grow as well is quite a miracle, a perfect example of how miracles happen every day, and of the overriding theme of Art Life Connection – Ripples and Consequences. Your ripples have positive consequences in my life, which in turn ripple out positive consequences in your lives. And so the cycle continues.

May this New Year be filled with possibilities, plans, and peace.

P.S. Don’t miss these exhibits, closing this month around the world (click on the images for exhibition details):

Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing, about 1665. Oil on canvas
Class Distinctions Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer October 11, 2015 – January 18, 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Susie Ganch - Drag - 2012–13 Mixed media steel - Photo courtesy Sienna Patti
Crafted Objects in Flux August 25, 2015 – January 10, 2016 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Archibald J. Motley Jr. (1891–1981), Blues 1929 Oil on canvas  © Valerie Gerrard Browne
ARCHIBALD MOTLEY: JAZZ AGE MODERNIST OCT 2, 2015–JAN 17, 2016 Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
Arthur Lismer, Olympic with Returned Soldiers, 1919 © Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
EXHIBITION SEP 19 2015 – JAN 17 2016 Witness: Canadian Art of the First World War Canadian War Museum, Ontario
Osiris, Egypt’s Sunken Mysteries – the Institut du monde arabe, Paris, France Until January 31, 2016

Of course, this is only a sampling of the options available to you. Make it a point this month to try something new. See an exhibit that you think you might not like. Who knows? You may be pleasantly surprised at what you learn from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.




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