“You Have My Full Attention” 4×4, oil on canvas

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed”

– Mary Oliver

 

A while back, before it finally and suddenly turned winter(ish) cold, I was leaving my house to go for a walk and stopped a few yards from my driveway to watch a very large bee who was going about her business in the weed-flowers that had grown thick, tall and lush in the ditch where we often lose soccer balls that have to be oh so carefully retrieved without falling in. 

Ever since I started reading Mary Oliver, I see things like bees as a call to prayer and prayer as the art of paying deep and loving attention.

So I did what I knew she would have me do, and I lingered and watched with my full attention. The bee, so often mischaracterized as “busy,” was diving its entire body into the heart of a bloom. There was no hesitation, no embarrassment, just a full-bodied response to its purpose, and, perhaps, its delight. 

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore, but I did think of a word I want to guide me in 2024. 

Ease

The opposite of hustle and hurry. A deep and long and attention-filled breath. And while the bee may have long been a mascot for hurry, what I saw in the weeds was something different– an ease and whole-heartedness I’m using as my New Year’s aspiration. 

What word speaks to you this new year? 

** I’m doing something a little different this year. I’ll post each painting at (or close to) 10 am each day this month and they will be available for purchase on my site. However, the pieces will not be shipped out or available for pick up until February 26, after the run of the gallery show. 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Written by Denise Hopkins

More From The Blog

Day 31. If you want to go far…

"If You Want to go Far" 24x30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and I knew I wanted to end with one too. Only this time there’s not just one, but several. All month I’ve been thinking about the African proverb that says “If you want to go fast,...

read more

Day 29. Intuition

"Follow Your Intuition" 9x12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our raised house. I have an AC unit but no heat, so for a handful of days during the year it’s miserably cold. Those days are almost always in January. Those...

read more

Day 28. Except the Opposite

"The Birds are Circling" 9x12 inches, oil on paper Today’s painting is a companion piece to yesterday’s. As I was painting it, I kept thinking “The vultures are circling…except maybe the opposite.” I used photographs of a white-tailed tropicbird for a reference for...

read more