I hear the sound of tires rolling over gravel. I look out the front door and see the distinctly yellow hood of a taxi. It comes to a stop. Doors open and shut. Judith, pronounced “Who-deat” in Spanish, meets us at the front door. She brings in her massage table and bags of sheets, oils, towels and other miscellaneous massage supplies. We help her carry everything up the tile steps to the spare bedroom in casa naranja grande; our home in Barre de Navidad for two weeks .
Judith doesn’t speak any English. But we all know what to do as we take turns on the massage table. For ninety minutes Judith rubs and kneads muscles, coating our skin with coconut oil. She works out the built up tightness we let fester in our bodies from daily life. This small Mexican woman is an artist, molding our muscles to a happy place. She never says a word and works on each person as if they were her only client in the world. She is focused, engaged, present. The unspoken talents of a true artist.
We should all strive to be an artist in what we do. Focused. Engaged. Present. Be an artist and you’ll lose yourself in your task. There will be no such thing as time. Only you and your art. If you find you are not an artist in what you are doing, do something different. Find what makes you an artist. This is bigger than a salary, bigger than health insurance and much bigger than climbing the proverbial ladder.
What about washing the dishes, chopping wood, doing taxes, cooking dinner or working a mundane job that you are lucky to have? All those things you have to do. Good question. Being an artist in your daily task is a choice. You could spend more time dreading the task than the task actually takes and then pump out a half assed job. Or, you could choose to be an artist, even with the daily chores. Break down the task into baby steps then complete each baby step focused, engaged, present. Be a wood chopping artist like my husband. Make cooking dinner your creative outlet like my daughter.
Or; hire it done. Go out for your meals like my father-in-law.
The book selection is “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. An excellent read. This novel bounces through time in the life of a young female World War I spy and her life as an older, angry, whiskey drinking woman dealing with the ghosts in her closet. A closet that is opened by a young woman looking for help to find her cousin after World War II. This book is difficult to put down and will keep your interest for its entirety. The characters take their jobs seriously as war spies. They work in occupied territories, spying on German soldiers, writing down information on rice paper and rolling it up in their hair pins in order to deliver the information to the Allies. They are artist. Focused. Engaged. Present. And this is how they survive.
Check out Wild About Books for more great book recommendations.