When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"The Pain Passes, But the Beauty Remains"

During the school year I am very fortunate to have parents and other community members, volunteer in the Art studio to assist with the children. The students benefit greatly from their presence, as it means that they are given added attention. I also enjoy the interaction and appreciate the adult conversation, but most importantly, I value their generosity and time.

So it wasn't unusual when this beautiful, vibrant woman entered my studio to assist with her son Michael's class. I immediately connected with her and admired her poise, enthusiasm and genuine warmth with the children. Amazingly, Pat, who has since become a friend, had just lost her husband Mike, to cancer. Literally, just weeks after his passing, she appeared in my art studio to volunteer. In the midst of a time of great pain and loss, Pat chose to act and "live" on behalf of her son, and in honor of her husband.

Michael is so loved and exceptionally beautiful. He is bright, curious and energetic...all that a 6 year old boy should be.(He is also incredibly knowledgeable about dinosaurs:) Mike is ever present in their hearts and minds. As I came to know Pat and Michael this past year, I could not help but be inspired by their relationship. I witnessed in Pat, great strength and grace. She would probably say that she was simply doing what anyone in her position would do, but I know that she is exceptional.

And so, I asked if I could paint Michael. Eventually, I will create a piece, which in essence, becomes a "memory quilt", celebrating the love of this family.The image here is my first portrait of Michael. Pat commented that the sky to the right, looked like heaven.That was not the intention but the symbolism seems very appropriate.

People enter our lives, unexpectedly, for various reasons... I believe mostly to guide and to teach us but only if we are truly "awake" and listening. Some of those individuals are particularly special and offer "gifts" that influence who we are and inspire us to live more fully. Hold fast to those gifts. Value the love, the pain, the memories. It is a reminder that we are alive!

Thank you Pat and Michael. You are beautiful and have been a gift to me this year.

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains."-Pierre Auguste Renoir

(Although, in all honesty, I believe the pain never fully passes, but perhaps is dulled and transformed into something more constructive. The pain is a result of the intense love and beauty of shared moments. May you always see and remember the beauty. It will sustain your soul.)

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Jude, Art and Inspiration