Great Obstacles

 In Painting, Recovery

When something big plops itself right into the middle of your life, like a meteor landing in your living room, it’s hard to ignore.  You have to figure out how you are going to get around it.  It focuses your attention, making the smaller stuff insignificant.

Breaking my ankle and having surgery, blasted my life into a million bits.  I couldn’t walk or drive; I couldn’t go anywhere myself.  My obstacle was huge and it made a shambles of my life.  Having a cast put the “stuff” of my life off limits as I couldn’t make it to my bedroom or studio.  I took a little while to feel my despair and then realized I had to figure out what I was going to do to make it through.

But having this tremendous obstacle pushed me into action.  I set targets and pursued endeavors I had contemplated but had never taken on.

It was amazing!!!  With all that stood in my way, I accomplished much more than I had in a long time.  I reached out to galleries and found two to exhibit my work.  I completed two paintings.  I took up guitar and started this blog.  All the while persevering through seven weeks of hopping around with my walker.

Jubilance propelled me when I got my cast off.  But it had a strange effect on my motivation.  As soon as things were turning around, my obstacle diminished, did I find my resolve weaken.  My guitar practice stopped, as had my exercise regime.

Obviously, I’m not sorry to be recovering.  But I am learning it is human nature to rise to overcome obstacles.  Meet the challenge.  When we are trying to make great strides, we should make ourselves aware of our own great obstacles.

Body Color

Body Color acrylic on paper 30" x 22"

Making art is a challenge.  Each time I set out to create a work of art, I set up challenges for myself.  Each painting is a set of obstacles to overcome.  The greater the obstacle the more successful the painting.  This painting was principally a color challenge.  The obstacle was finding the figure in a field of red, keeping it loose and responding to my artistic impulses.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?  What did they help you achieve?

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  • Chloe

    Do you ever think about the handicapped people in this world who experience lifelong difficulties? Your transient injury is not worthy of all this bombastic soul searching. Get over it and get on with it. At least the car with the big bow wouldn’t need handicapped plates…..

    • karenfriedland

      Yes, Chloe, I am very aware that my transient experience is minimal compared to others with life struggles like MS & MD (with whom I have worked). But there is nothing like confronting some of the difficulties the physically challenged face on a daily basis to make you truly empathetic. In any event, none of this is really about the specific challenges I personally faced but rather a metaphor and a jumping off point for my life lessons. Thanx for commenting.

  • Barbara

    Inspiring for the new year!

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