Listening to my body
I was out in the studio two nights ago, getting a jump on the next project: a fine old gentleman who passed away a few days ago, when my body was telling me to put things away for the night and go in the house. I listened and I did.
It had been a productive day - eight hours in the studio; I was physically tired. I was also mentally tired and needed some distance from the paintings to re-charge and go on a nocturnal exploration of what needs to be next. I do a surprising amount of painting in my half-sleep - that land between sleep and wake.
Example of listening: I was in Spotify yesterday morning, finding something to listen to. I landed on Tom Wait's album "Closing Time". However, just to the right were a pair of eyes belonging to Mississippi John Hurt.
They drew me in and prompted me to do a Google search. I found an image and ended up spending most of Sunday bring him out from the canvas for no other reason than my body was leading me there.
Much like the 9 paintings I did of Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary, I think I needed to learn or experience something with the portrait of Mississippi John Hurt. He was a challenging subject as there was light coming from both the left and the right. Finding the right colour and light balance felt like a game of ping pong; I was going back and forth between colour palettes trying to find the one that would best express this blues legend.
As I have grown older, I have become more attuned to the messages that my body is giving me. I am over 70 days into a healthy eating program because my body was telling me that it was time. Each morning I was waking up with a dull pain in my lower back. It was my cue to lose a few pounds. I listened. Over 70 days and 19 pounds later, I no longer wake up with pain.
I set a goal to get to 169 pounds, as it would be a new low in my adult life. I'm not sure if I'm stubborn or obsessed, but I'm not transitioning into regular eating until I get there. Even though it is just a number, my body tells me the process of getting there is important. I have just under three more pounds to go.