“Pet”scapes

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas

A dear friend gave me the gift of painting. She and I attended a painting class together. The class was designed to paint your pet. They wisely served wine at the class. We were all novice painters, and they had perhaps learned along the way that it is easier to instruct those who have taken the nervous edge off with a taste of the vine.

All of the painting students were to turn in a photo of their pet. That photo was turned into a pencil sketch on our canvas. When we arrived, we located the faint outline of our own pet, sat down, drank our wine, and wondered ‘How the hell am I going to do this?!” A little more wine, then we thought, “What the hell, let’s do this!”

My pet is all white. My friends pet had a zillion colors. My challenge was to capture Scampi’s white curls. Her challenge was to capture Maestro’s debonair style. I thought, “Hell, we better drink some more!”

scampi and maestro art

We were led through the class, and finished with a painting of our beloved pets. It was a moment in time, cherished with a friend, and captured in a work of art that will bring us a smile every time we see it.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-moment-in-time/

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Pass the Norvasc

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.” Edgar Allen Poe

My son calls it ‘work drama’. It doesn’t seem to matter where a person works, there will be work drama. It is pervasive. It is the cause of millions of people on medication to modify high blood pressure. I felt it myself last Friday.

The pervasive questions arise, “When will this resistance go away? How many times does it have to be discussed? How many times, or how many ways, can it be said?” Then I wonder, “Why can’t I just say, ‘because I said so.’ Why do I have to couch everything is such a way that people are not offended?” Couch is a good word-please sit down and let us all be comfortable and discuss this….

I battle the decision to throw in the proverbial towel nearly everyday. My job is complex and directed by tedious, legalized diatribe regulations. If I explain them, the supposed listener looks at me with glazed eyes and the hint of reviewing a grocery list in their head as they nod understanding.

Working in a field of compliance, daily decisions are made related to what must be fixed and what can be let go. The Serenity Prayer advises me to change what I can-and to know the difference between what I can or cannot change. Hence, the need for the prayer-that knowledge is nebulous.

Friday, I stood my ground, although I nearly threw in the towel. In the end, we did what was compliant to the regulatory directives.

Sometimes, I have to let it go. The organization is too strong. On those days, I manage my reaction by reminding myself that I did my duty in informing the players involved of what was required. I am not the decision maker. I am the advisor. Then I go home and have a Margarita Meeting with me, myself, and I. We ‘let go’ of the situation, laugh and remember the story of the dog- “if you can’t eat it, or play with it, piss on it and walk away”.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/enough-is-enough/

Embrace or End the Relationship, the Choice is Yours

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  Victor Hugo

One thing most of us are not short of, is opinions. In general, I am in agreement with many of the opinions of my friends. That is one reason that we maintain a friendship. There are other people in my life that are probably not in harmony with everything that I believe. It is interesting to experience a dialogue with someone who comes from a different perspective.

One of two things generally happens.

1. We have an engaging experience. From a mutual respect we learn from each other. I have friends that are more conservative than I am. We would disagree on some religious practices. But, we love each other. We were there for each other when our daughters had surgery. We were there to hug through tears of sorrow. We shared history, and experiences. We see beyond the current difference and nurture the areas that we agree upon. We do that because, at the core, we love each other.

2. I am shunned or dismissed because of a difference. The singular difference is so great in the perspective of the former friend that the disagreement becomes insurmountable. The disagreement may have been over who should be president. It may be over watching certain movies. It may be over church attendance. Despite the volumes of areas that might be agreed upon, the critical focus is on the issue that we do not necessarily agree on. My marriage of 30 years to a minister basically fell into this category. Despite the fact that we shared a love of reading, travel, dancing, cooking, gardening, riding bikes and playing games-the fact that I did not want to attend the ultra conservative church services was enough to dissolve the marriage.

The danger to a relationship is when you hear the words, “if you loved me, you would do……”. “If you loved me, you would listen to me….” Those are hurtful words of control and manipulation. They represent conditional love. A refusal to agree to disagree. In many ways that attitude is egocentric and calloused.

“If my love is without sacrifice, it is selfish. Such a love is barter, for there is exchange of love and devotion in return for something. It is conditional love.”   Sadhu Vaswani

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/agree-to-disagree/