The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
Walt Whitman, 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass
Good morning, Beautiful People. Aren’t Saturdays luxurious when one is allowed to sleep in, recharge the weary batteries weakened by the week, make coffee and enjoy the silence and space? I wanted to take this moment and post a watercolor I finally completed, a small one (9 x 12″ unframed) of a restored 1921 Shell station in New Cambria, Missouri. A dear friend from high school had alerted me to its existence, and with difficulty I was able to gain access and take a number of reference photos. The image has been emblazoned in my mind’s eye for about a month, and I’m glad finally to bring this small composition to its conclusion.
I have posted Whitman’s quote because for months I’ve been hearing a myriad of unnecessary, unpleasant remarks being tossed about on the air waves and social media as this current election runs its bloody course. I love Whitman’s assessment of this country and its beauty in that a number of disparate peoples have been knitted together in a pattern of cities, counties and states to create a United States. I am stirred by that metaphor.
But I am more deeply stirred when I encounter that word “poem” derived from the Greek poiēma and better translated “work of art.” The letter to the Ephesians in 2:10 states “for we are his workmanship” (King James Version), the translation of poiēma. Some translations prefer “handiwork.” I like the idea of you being a poem, a work of art, something splendid that has been created and given as a Gift to this world.
So, whatever happens to you on this day, I urge you to pause and reflect on the magnificent poem that is you. Unique. There is no one else like you in this culture, and you are placed here where you can color and enrich those who surround you. Above all, be a Gift to yourself. Love yourself. Take great joy in that you are what you are.
Thanks for reading.
I paint in order to encounter.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.