Living in the moment is something too many of us forget to do, me included as it was pointed out recently. It's important to savor whatever is in front of us at any moment -- warm puppies, happy children, the smell of pine trees, the Thanksgiving leftovers in my refrigerator.
I did the attached flower for no other reason than I felt like doing it. I savored the time of copy/paste/rotate/fill/emboss... When I was done with it, I wondered why did I waste time on something for which I don't have a practical application? There are so many "useful" things I "should" have done instead. I was following a friend's advice to "lighten up", and pushed myself to doodle while watching tv. The doodle seemed enough to computer doodle too.
I read the Tao of Pooh this week, and absolved myself for "wasting" time on impractical computer art. I greatly recommend this book. It's Eastern philosophy ala Winnie the Pooh, and one of my brother Brian's favorites. He has quoted it to me for years, and I finally read it after finding it in my niece's bedroom last weekend.
The lesson I've been contemplating this week is that water doesn't run in a straight line. Having spent so much time on the bank of my river, I've watched the water flow around rocks, wander to the edges, and go wherever it finds the least resistance. Thinking about this has let me give myself permission to quit banging my head on what I "should" do, and apply my energies to the things that feel more comfortable and happy. When I think of "shoulds", I procrastinate and spend my time in self-criticism. In other words, get nothing done instead of making impractical flowers.
Maybe the flower is important in ways I haven't considered? It reminds me of what I like to do, and another of the lessons in the book is to be true to our own natures and success will follow effortlessly. I look at other people's blogs and notice the cute children's art and funny cartoons. That's great for the people who like to do those things, and I like looking at it, but I like painting flowers. Sometimes impractical, fanciful flowers with no apparent use.
I feel lighter and happier to allow myself an impractical flower. I feel less restrained to allow myself to wander wherever the water wants to take me. Happy artists make happy art, and that makes the world better for everyone!