Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.
I am not sure this explanation from the Buddhist tradition is a statistic that can be vetted, but I suspect a mind boggling number of details had to synchronize together for me to make it here on earth, and sustain me for the past 40 years. It is a miracle to be here.
If you are reading this it means you own a computer, and probably have food in your fridge, a roof over your head, clean drinking water and, if you are lucky, maybe even a pet or loved one to snuggle. Congratulations, that is reason to celebrate!
If the exterior world is complex, the internal world is equally complex. When I lose myself in hurry or in my head, my practice is to remember to breathe and smile, or just go take a nap, and reboot into this miracle of being human! I am grateful to just be here. Add to that oodles of art making, a supportive husband, awesome kids, bay area weather, diversity and stong economy and, yes, my smart phone, and life is pretty darn good.
I hope you enjoy your time off to revel in the beauty of the life that you have to enjoy and share. I also hope you get some great naps in this weekend!
Ornate Ceiling Design
When I met with Bob and Sandy Jamison in their new home, I was taken aback by their breathtaking view. They overlook a natural pond in Morgan Hill filled with Egrets and migrating birds. The dining room offers the grand first view in the house and they wanted to finish off the ceiling with something equally grand. I designed this stencil to compliment the patterns and colors in their curtains and existing furniture, and fit perfectly in the ceiling soffit.
A few years back, I painted a mural for Bob and Sandy at their old house. I was thrilled to hear that they want to have a mural of mine in their new house as well. They told me that the thing they missed MOST about their old house was the mural I had painted in their son’s room. While it is bittersweet, I like the temporal aspect of murals, that you “can’t take them with you”. They capture a specific time, place, and person, and that contributes to make the mural powerful and unique.
Vintage Fairy Nursery
I loved meeting and collaborating with Leighton to put fairies in her room. Did I mention Leighton is 2? She was so encouraging, pointing out each new element with a loud squeal and raised eyebrows. I knew I was on the right track!
I used a burnt umber glaze over an exquisitely soft green (Handmade paper, Benjamin Moore CSP-875), with the glaze heavier at the bottom and fading off towards the top, and also added hints of light blue glaze here and there. This brought a subtle glow and movement to the walls. The artwork was painted in a muted palette, so the result was less of a bold “Disney” look and more of a 1920’s bound book illustrations look and feel. We did throw one recognizable Tinkerbelle in there, as she was already famous with Leighton!
Three fairies frolic in a Magnolia…
Small details punctuate the soft composition throughout the room.
Giants Stadium Nursery
Leighton’s younger brother is in for a big surprise! It’s a surprise because he won’t be born for another month, so he doesn’t know how cool his new room is yet! Based on his Dad’s enthusiasm for his team, I cannot imagine Leighton’s brother not falling for the magic of baseball. The base coat is Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40.
I would like to THANK so many who responded with compassion to my predicament with the non-paying client I wrote about in my June newsletter.
After many months of the defendants postponing the trial, my day in court finally arrived. My friend Jeannie Leahy (also a lawyer, and a huge support the past 6 months in this ordeal) prepared me with the understanding that judges look for compromise, and will likely split the difference or award something to both parties. The verdict came today, and the judge awarded me 100% of the amount due, plus all costs of bringing the case to trial, which I had not even asked for. I am thrilled.
What I learned in the process:
1. Nobody wins if a dispute has to go to court.
2. I improved at redirecting my thoughts if I got stuck in an unproductive or stressful mind mess.
3. During the postponements I got to spend the mornings with a close friend. It was a precious time with her. I learned again that friends are even dearer in difficult times.
4. I cannot know all the reasons events come to pass in my life, but I can show up with integrity in who I am and what I am about. And smile. The rest is out of my hands.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to
experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
I was inspired by this TED talk. I have had successes with turning short term changes into habits, so I am already thinking ahead: I have a whole list of 30 day challenges for the rest of 2014… I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.