The Art of Living and Loving

'Undercurrents' © Janice Iniskimaki Tanton 2014. Oil on linen. 103"x133"
‘Undercurrents’ © Janice Iniskimaki Tanton 2014. Oil on linen. 103″x133″

This has been a tough week. Lots of friends and people that I love had a challenging time in their workplace and lives, and it spills over to others in ways that might not have been anticipated or considered. The end result is a lot of uncertainty and change and we all begin to fear the future a bit, and question our relationships, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of it all. We awkwardly try to find ways to help…or completely avoid a difficult situation.

Folks all react differently when traumatic events occur – a health issue, a job loss, a relationship breakdown – any magnitude of frustrations that come along with this thing we’ve been given, called life, but in the end, I truly believe we want to all understand and be connected in good ways.

My experience is that you never know what people are going through. Not really. You can empathize and sympathize until you are blue in the face, but we never really know what we are all going through…unless we ask and create a relationship, and subsequently – meaning. For me, that is what painting is all about…asking, creating relationships and acting from that.

Can I ask you, Dear Reader, to join me in a an art action?

What I am asking you….is this. At your leisure, have a conversation with a stranger – someone you may bump into on the street, in the grocery store, anyone that you don’t know. Be forward – ask them…How are you? Really? Ask them about themselves. How is your day going? Get as deep as you can and just be aware when it become uncomfortable for you – for there is learning in that. Find out what you may have in common and wish them well. At the end of the conversation, ask them to do the same and tell them they are engaging in art…the art of living and loving.

Sometimes, we are all …just waiting to be asked.

I would love it if  you could share your stories here with me. That, I ask.

“Be kind. Love is the only way through.”

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