There is a ritual to it.
You enter and turn on the heat.
You put on the paint-stained hunting jacket.
You choose one, paper or canvas.
And paint, looking for a palette that sings
your story more than line or image.
It is not things you paint,
it is emotion, love, hate, peace, anxiety.
And so the colors matter,
as do the brushes.
Which one will help you mark the paper,
the canvas, in just the way your heart speaks.
There is a lot of trial and error to it.
False starts. Moments of inspiration,
foolishness, and passion.
Don’t ask me how long it takes.
Twenty minutes, a little more, time enough
to stop thinking and let the colors speak.
And that is where the rituals come in.
They are a slow surrendering of yourself,
waiting for God’s breath to take over
and the real art, something far outside yourself,
About This Poem
My life is full of rituals. I used to think they were part of my process. I have come instead to think of rituals less as something I do, as preparing myself to allow. It is the same whether I am painting, engineering, writing or, well, anything I do. Including love and faith.
The word inspiration means, in the bible, “God-breathed”.
The picture was taken in my studio.
From all that, this poem