Wonder Round (Oct. 7-13, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

Wishing you all a peaceful week ahead as I round up the last one…

(“It is difficult to find words about my circle this morning, painted mostly with my left hand. As I worked on art all day yesterday as news unfolded, I reflected on the task in front of me to raise our boys, and how challenging a world it is in which they are growing. It saddens me and makes me angry beyond what I want to write here, and so I come back to my responsibility to do the best I can to help them navigate the most beautiful and the most wretched parts of being human, and that which lies between. I am often stopped in my tracks as I field their painful questions, listen to their perspectives, and witness them remain open, curious, excited, and hopeful about life. I am grateful for the lessons they bring to us, and am so happy that we are heading into the woods today as a family, taking some much-needed time to connect.”)

(“As I painted two abstract lines this morning, they quickly became matches, ignited. As I laid in the color of energy and warmth, I pondered how crucial it is to remain connected to the light that exists inside ourselves and each other. My hope is that this will fuel our work and enable us to join with the power of others to bring light to the darkness.”)

(This morning my spouse got up earlier than usual and offered extra time before leaving for work to have coffee together, which we usually share on the weekend at a more leisurely time. I had wanted to paint first thing, and realized I could very easily do so, if I would just let go of expectation for having a well-developed circle. I could just paint for fun, which was one of the original foundations for these daily paintings. I find myself pushing up against expectations that exist only in my head, and have to keep reminding myself that they are mine to remove. Practice daily, indeed. I am grateful for the gentle nudge this morning (as well as the caffeine waiting in the French press) that sheds light on old patterns that call for release, one sip at a time :).”)

(“This circle began by choosing to use flat brushes, which I rarely use... I suppose I am drawn to the more organic shapes of a round brush, rather than the clean straight edges of a flat one. As line after line was laid down, I could not resist connecting them with some curvy tracks of water, and realized they reminded me of that game we used to play as children— Pick-up Sticks. I can remember the sound of the splay of sticks as they hit the hardwood floor, and how much concentration I would try and muster to get one removed from the other without disturbing the main pile. I was reflecting on how much this feels like the interweaving of political turmoil and the affected lives across the world, as well as some that are hitting very close to my core. Try as I might to paint lightly, feeling too tired by the emotion within to express it externally some days, the overlap remains there. Some days I wish we could just pick up the pile and start again, but it is obviously not that simple. I continue to search for the beauty and the power of the human spirit that each stick holds.”)

(“Some days we awaken not in the most repleanished space, knowing the day will proceed with good intention, yet fueled by fumes, rather than a full tank of gas— a reminder that we are human and have tides like the ocean. Wishing you all the ability to harness extra energy in the day that lies before you...”)

(“As I awoke in crisp cool air, refreshed from having slept by a window connecting me to the night breeze, I felt energized by the change and hopeful that more is on the way in circles whose impact radiate more widely and deeply..”)

(“As I chose colors to fill this space on yet another day, I reflected on the simple, yet profound, gift of being free to express what I choose to express— a privilege not available to so many in this world. I am grateful for the ability to make art, and to share it publicly. Wishing you all freedom in the ways you most need it...”)