In our workshop last week, Deanne had us do many exercises to help us access our own, personal, images for our art. One of them was to close our eyes and go back to our childhood. Then she suggested we take ourselves, in our minds, to a place that had good memories for us. Maybe a grandmother's house, or a favorite aunt...or our own homes. Once inside, we were to revisit all the things there that we loved so much...perhaps a favorite old sofa, a book, a memory of fresh baked cookies, a scent. It was really interesting to hear what the others in the room experienced when they did this.
I tried hard but frankly, came up with very little. I have a vague memory of visiting my father's mother on several occasions. I remember the front door with the large, oval, glass in it. I remember walking inside and seeing her in her wheel chair (in my mind's eye, she looked like my dad with a bun on her head). I remember being told to go to a porch outside and wait, because she didn't care to see me. I was told this was because she was too tired of kids, after a lifetime of having far too many of her own and caring for many others. My feelings about this memory are ones of coldness and detachment, mixed with sadness.
Then comes a day like today. I just went outdoors to hang up some laundry, and the air is permeated with the scent of our lilac bush, which is in full bloom. The sun is shining and there is a lovely breeze. I feel like I'm starved for these, and that I can't breathe deeply enough to soak it all in. The house smells like the banana bread that just came out of the oven.
My conclusion after last week's exercise is that one has to make those moments if they didn't just happen to us in the course of events. I know that today will be one of those moments.