The small wicker and wood chair that we sit at to open the pool broke under Dominique the very day I was feeling close to doing the same. (Oh the world and its pressures.) For a moment I actually hated that chair. Instead, I decided to take the wood and make something with it. It was surprising, with only one cut on each side, the wooden frame turned out perfectly square. That almost never happens. And after stretching the canvas over it. Stapling it. I measured again. Still square. I could hardly believe how cooperative this wood was being, when just moments before, beside the pool, it was so unforgiving.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my hurt feelings disappeared as the woman came to life on the canvas. Nothing changed in the situation that for a moment I found so desperate. But I had something new to focus on. Somewhere to put my attention in the most positive way. And I suppose that’s what forgiveness really is. It took me years to learn it. And clearly I’m still learning it. It really isn’t about the other person at all. You’re not “letting them off the hook.” I think it’s about releasing yourself from the situation. I guess if there are any “hooks” at all, it’s the ones you release from yourself. And what a glorious feeling.
Today my heart is light and I have a new painting. (The bruise on Dominique’s backside is also fading.) Oh the world and its gifts!
If you’ve ever stood in front of a painting and felt “moved,” perhaps it’s the sweet passing of forgiveness. Let it flow through you. And lightly begin again.