Fear and Life’s Blank Canvas

Today this message arrived in the Daily Inspiration email I receive each day: 
In this line from an 1884 letter to his brother Theo, Vincent van Gogh expresses the necessity of action. He suggests that in order to begin -- whether it be a fresh painting, a new goal, or a sudden challenge -- we must overcome our fear and hesitation, and simply do. "Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas," the artist wrote, "but the blank canvas is afraid of the truly passionate painter who dares -- and who has once broken the spell of 'you can't,'" (www.inspiringquotes.com)

Sometimes tragedies and struggles leave us gasping for air and looking for the exit door. The death of a spouse/partner can certainly be one of those times. It's in times like these, when things are at their worst, that we must be at our best. As van Gogh reminds us, it's the times when we feel the most powerless that we must not let the blank canvas of life make us afraid, but rather, be like "the truly passionate painter who dares -- and who has once broken the spell of 'you can't'" We all have it in us, it's just that sometimes we have to dig a little deeper to find it.

     Painting on Life's Canvas
I sat along life's highway, all alone and feeling blue.
My life felt wrong and made no sense since the day that I lost you.

It seemed like those around me all went on about their day
and didn't even notice that you had gone away.

There were some days I wondered, was it really worth the cost
of trying to survive your death that made me feel so lost?

But then, when things were at their worst, and all my world looked bleak,
the wind whispered your name to me, and I know I heard you speak.

"Remember that, no matter what, I know that you are strong,
and when you look outside your fears, you never will go wrong.

Just look around and find a need, then see what you can do,
for it's when you give to others that you're helping yourself, too."

So, listening close to your advice, I've made a whole new start,
of caring and of sharing, and of giving from the heart.

If I can make a difference in the time I've yet to stay,
then that good will go on giving even when I've gone away.
Julieanne Gentz

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