Finding the Joy of Life After Horrific Events

"Coming Home"  16"x20" oil on stretched canvas -  Available at UGallery

"Coming Home"  16"x20" oil on stretched canvas - Available at UGallery

"Evil wins when we give in to the pain we are feeling. "  ~Marla Cilley


After Sunday night's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, I was numb. It felt difficult to put one foot in front of the other all Monday.   My chest felt like it had a massive brick on it, making it hard to breathe, hard to think.  A permanent scowl tightened across my forehead, and indeed I ended up with a dull headache.  


A fellow artist who WAS THEREwith her daughter, AND SURVIVED, shared their story on Facebook.  The sadness and anger shrouded me in a tightly wrapped funk, that could not be shaken.  I find it disturbing that as a nation, we haven't changed anything since Sandy Hook. Wasn't that bad enough? Mixed in my anger was some helplessness of 'what can I do right now'? 


Other friends (many of them artists) are asking the same thing. What can I do right now?  This morning, I felt great relief as my class members arrived for my watercolor class I teach in my studio. We dug right in to the task at hand, learning to create art.     I LOVE getting to teach, I swear it makes me feel like the luckiest person alive to get to spend time sharing the joy of making art!! I have art hanging in my home for the same reason, it brings me great joy. I'm surrounded with asense of peace, calm, and orderwhen all the outside world is upside down and crazy.   It is the one thing, that I can do right now while all the rest of the world seems like it is in turmoil.  Wars, and disasters natural and man-made leave my soul raw, but I will continue to ground myself in love of all that's good in this life. 


From that grounding, bigger things & future actions will grow. But as for now, I will paint, I will share hope as best as I know how.  

Roxanne Steed