I have been given a new lens to view the world around me with. After a very simple cataract surgery I had a distance lens implanted. It has sharpened my vision to 20/20, allowing me to see every house, every tree, it seems on Sonoma Mountain when I stand outside.
One of my passions is plein air painting. You can only imagine my excitement when I found I could see EVERYTHING. And my disappointment at trying to put EVERYTHING that I saw into my paintings. I did four paintings in the late afternoons last week before realizing that painting is like writing....you have to edit!
When I painted with poor eyesight the editing was done for me. When I paint from my imagination the editing is done for me.
But as a writer, I know so many words, that the temptation is to put them all in. As a painter who can now actually see, the temptation is to show you what I can see.
We all know what an overwritten manuscript can be like. It is one where the author is in love with the words, the names, and not the story. They have fallen in love with the tools of their trade, with their skills and forgotten about the passion that made them write the story.
So, I had to go out yesterday and put my writing skills to use in my painting. I had to eliminate everything that got in the way of the feeling I had when I looked across our neighbors pasture. The reason I wanted to paint his barns was not to prove that I can make perfect boards, but to show the contrast in value that I see at certain times of the day from my front porch, and the way the mist in the air colors the mountain.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could edit our lives daily, enhancing the things that keep us impassioned, and editing out the extra, unneccessary things that get in the way of us making our lives into the stories we crave them to be.