Those Who Wait


My newest work-in-progress (WIP), currently titled “Those Who Wait.” Normally I don’t have a title until I’ve finished the piece, but this one popped into my head as I was working on it. A lot has been on my mind lately and I think this title pretty much sums everything up at the moment. I feel like I’m waiting for everything…I tend to get impatient when I want something to happen, and get frustrated when things happen at much slower pace. 

There are times (frequently) where I question whether anything will really happen or not. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of despair and sadness wondering “when…if ever.” I tend to have an all or nothing attitude…if it doesn’t happen now, then it will never happen. Not quite fair to the universe or myself, but it’s a way of protecting myself in case it never does happen. Then I think I won’t feel the hurt, anger, despair, sadness as much. Wishful thinking. 

Sometimes I even wonder if God is listening or am I just blowing hot air into the empty sky? There are only questions and no answers. Waiting sucks. Royally. And I suck at waiting. So all around this just sucks. I start wondering…am I praying hard enough? Am I seeking enough? Am I doing something that is making me wait longer? Am I being punished for something? What more do I need to do? HOW MUCH  MORE DO I HAVE TO GIVE?

Every day I think I’ve hit the bottom of the well. I’ve been sucked dry. My soul is beaten down and I’ve given up. But, my stupid self with my damn eternal optimism, wakes with a glimmer of hope every morning. I feel the grounding roots pushing through my feet, drawing on the the earth’s energy, Her Sacred Divine, and my soul slowly unfurls to the sunlight, no matter how stubbornly I try to block it out with my misery. Still no answers…and for the time being…that’s okay.

In the past two years, I have fallen in love with working with oil pastel. I love the rich, buttery texture and using my hands to blend, smooth, carve into, and work the painting. I’ve used it on canvas, construction paper, and watercolor paper. One of my favorite things to do is to mix it with chalk pastel. I love the dichotomy between the two mediums. Which I suppose is apropo considering most of work has dichotomies in it…dark and light being the biggest theme. 

The biggest appeal of pastels….to use it directly with my hands. I’m a no frills kind of woman. Gardening and digging in the dit? I don’t wear gloves. Washing dishes? I poo-poo those rubbery things. I need to feel, to touch, to sense, to immerse my physical self into my work, whatever that may be. The oil pastel is slick against my skin, engaging my senses, grounding me yet losing me in the process. The chalk pastel makes me sneeze, blowing dust acros the plain. This is where all my questions, wonderings, skepticism get poured out from my fingertips to the medium to the artwork, allowing room for the optimism and sacred breaths to grow. 



Traveling Back to My Roots

Tonight, I was reminded why I write. Thanks, Ben. Ironically, the post on his blog had nothing to do with writing, but after reading that specific post and others on his blog, I felt like I was gulping fresh water after wandering in the arid desert for so long.

When I originally started blogging (many moons ago, and long before this particular blog), my only goal was to share my journey in art, faith, and life with others in the hopes that it might help even just one person struggling in their own journey.  In the past year or so, my train fell off the track. I became more concerned about how many people followed my blog, trying to seem professional, basically worried about my “image”.  I did things I’m not proud of and I wrote things I’m not proud of (most are deleted from here, so don’t go looking to start trouble).

Because I took the “image, self-focused” road, I lost interest in blogging. It became a chore, something that had to be done. It was no longer writing for the pure joy of it and the connection with you. Frankly, I’m ashamed and sad, for you and for me. We missed out on some authentic, honest time together and for that, I’m truly sorry.

My hope is to restore “The Skeptical Optimist” to its true roots…to a blog that shares my messy spirituality, my artistic journey,  and the musings of a skeptical optimist.  Let’s walk this well-worn bumpy road together, my friends….

A Skeptical Optimist?

“skeptical optimist stretching for points unknown”

Skeptical: Showing doubt, questioning or denying
Optimist: The tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things

A Skeptical Optimist is always questioning,
but tends to find the silver lining.
I may question, doubt, deny, argue, and seek…
But I always find hope,
Even in the smallest mustard seed.

~ Kat