I’ve been craving more time resting in stillness…

“At Rest,” my first watercolor in several years (I’ve been immersed in oils) is my tribute to the power of stopping and resting in presence. We’ve been plenty busy getting our Liguria lives and associated renovations off the launch pad. Yep, busy, busy, busy. But a still small voice tells me to take time to be at rest, to let my soul, heart, and mind breathe!

An unveiling and an updating…

I’d been wondering if I still “had it” with watercolors. “At Rest” was a bit of a testing-the-waters return to the medium with which I wrestled for years before I found my groove. Had I forgotten? Believe me, there’s no false modesty when I say that I just can’t adopt an “I’ve arrived” attitude. Being creative is a gift, and it keeps me sane. I also believe that a bigger force moves my hands and inspires what appears as a result. I’ve always felt as though an unseen hand takes over. I’m just a vessel. My dear mom admonished me to remember this always and to be thankful.

I want to be that red boat.

Moored in the Oneglia port here in Imperia, this solitary boat seized my attention. I snapped a quick photo with my iPhone, vaguely thinking it might evolve into a painting. I thought it would be a large oil (and maybe it still will be, making this the warm-up act!). But my motivation in capturing this image was a reminder of how stillness speaks and heals in the midst of busyness, uncertainty, and upheaval. Let’s face it, folks, we’ve had a truckload of the latter two things dumped in our laps.

So, this red boat and my self-soothing therapy by painting it remind me to never forget to hit the pause button and to let go.

I’ve recently received my first Covid vaccine.

Woohoo! Finally! Just last week I queued up at the Imperia health center to receive the first of two AstraZeneca vaccines. My second will be in just under three months. The whole process was incredibly efficient, from hopping online to reserve my time slot to waiting patiently, just over an hour, to get my jab from a very caring medical team. I promised myself that I’d force myself to be at rest for at least three to four days of possible side effects. I was congratulating myself that the shot didn’t hurt even a tiny bit and that there was no residual pain in the injection site. Talk about counting your chickens before they’ve hatched. Pronounced body aches became my mercurial companion over the subsequent five days. And, the injection site started to hurt, thumbing its nose at my belief that my superior health and immune system would sail through this unscathed.

Italy just might be on the verge of opening up to tourism, with conditions.

“Italy is ready to welcome vaccinated tourists — and it’s aiming to do so before the rest of the European Union. Following Tuesday’s Group of 20 (G20) meeting of tourism ministers, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi announced that the country will be introducing a pass to allow in visitors who meet the criteria in a few weeks.”

RACHEL CHANG—Travel & Leisure (read the full article here)

I just hope “they” don’t get lax or hurry in opening beautiful Italy up again to eager visitors. Managing tracking and a possible “green passport” will be essential for this not turning into a house on fire again. I could worry and obsess about this, but I’ll turn my attention to my sweet red boat and put my mind at rest.