content therewith


When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least.
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

–William Shakespeare

In the span of mere seconds the wholeness of the above poem rang about in my mind just yesterday.  I was in this tense place where I longed for more space. . .to have several paintings in various stages propped up on easels. . .to have my paintbox enjoying a vast tabletop instead of teetering off the edge of it’s current location. . .to have the ability to shut the door on the mess and protect the drying paint.  The dream of converting part of our virtually unusable front porch into a studio just off the living room on the north side of our house with lovely french doors and in-floor heating flashes before my eyes in vivid color.  

But this is just not financially possible at this stage in the game. . .

. . . and that’s when I was flooded with gratefulness, not guilt for feeling this tension, but grateful.  Because it is within this pressure of wet paint exposed and vulnerable to remote-controlled helicopters and flying stuffed animals that I let go of ownership over the creation. It is not mine to hold so tightly.  

I am also reminded of how blessed I am to have a space at all, to have a husband who not only encourages but insists I pursue the calling on my heart and to have my children interact daily with this mysterious thing I feel compelled to do while they are at school.

I am overcome with gratitude.


One thought on “content therewith

  1. I love this, thank you for sharing your thoughts, I too feel this way and with young children it’s hard to find the time. I am constantly reminded that my blessings are my little ones tugging at my pant to show me their creation to adorn a clean spot on the refrigerator. May I be as proud of my art hung in a gallery as they our re fridge.

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