Artwork & Content © 2011 Jean Burman
Forget climate change. Earth Leakage is a far more serious problem [grin]
We’re on the cusp of change. No matter who we are. Or where in the world we might be.
These are tumultuous times.
Change happens fast.
One day the world is okay. The next day it is not.
Though looking back it could be argued that it’s never really been any different.
[And that may well be so]
But there were a few troubling aspects this week.
The impending world food shortage [yes there are worse things than global warming and no they are not connected] *insert big cheeky grin here
The ongoing financial woes of countries whose deficits have now blown out into the trillions.
The tragedy in Norway [how many more innocent people must die at the hands of the mentally ill or politically motivated]
The ongoing politicking of politicians everywhere who… though holding the collective future of the whole world in the palms of their hands… continue to serve but one master… themselves [sadly]
But more troubling than this… is the ongoing loss of honesty and integrity from the earth.
Earth Leakage [noun] the slow creeping loss of good people of influence courage and moral worth… whose voices grow dim with age and weariness… and eventually pass into silence.
I wonder… who will replace them?
For me [and thousands of art lovers everywhere]… this week marked the sad loss of one of Australia’s much loved national treasures.
Margaret Olley went to sleep with her paint brush in hand… still painting the world as she saw it… with flourish… abundance… love… and great wit.
She was a woman of influence… plain honesty and huge creative worth. Her voice will be missed [along with her blithe spirit and enthusiasm for seeing beauty in the simplest things]
I didn’t know Margaret Olley… [but I did in my heart]
She and I shared only a couple of things in common that I’m aware of… and who knows… had I met her I’m sure we might have found many more. But it wasn’t to be.
What we did share however… was a love of painting.
And we did go to the same school as well [albeit several decades apart].
I didn’t know it then. And I wonder if it wasn’t some sort of conspiracy that our art teachers didn’t tell us about Margaret. Perhaps it was her rebel spirit [which they perhaps wanted to suppress in their young charges or was it that they'd hoped we would choose more sensible careers like nursing or accounting or whatever (((chuckles)))] But in many ways… the knowledge that she had walked that way before me still has the effect of buoying me on!
No doubt the “knowing her in my heart” will continue. Just as the struggle to be ” just a little bit like her” will continue to keep my paintbrushes wet… and the rebel spirit alive and well!
But what Margaret Olley shared with us best [I think]… was the eternal struggle onward.
She never gave up. Despite a life [not] without challenge or hardship [struggling with alcohol dependency and depression in her earlier years] like so many creative people before her.
Life is tough.
The world is not kind.
But she didn’t let it in.
*[this idea was the inspiration for the above cartoon]
Kindness and humanity do matter.
And the capture of childlike wonder can be cultivated in and around life circumstances.
Margaret Olley showed us that.
How does such a bright light go out?
I don’t know.
But I think her light can shine on in any one of us who chooses to allow it to.
All we have to do is keep doing [whatever it is that WE do best].
With courage and honesty and determination.
We have to keep looking for the light [and beauty] in people… and the world around us.
Defiantly refusing to give in to the ugly and the depressing… the awful and the hopeless… the corrupt and unjust.
Margaret Olley showed us how to live a life of creative abundance.
She was an inspiration. An example.
Of rolling with the punches.
Change may be the one constant [and the world may go hurtling on without her] but the truth is… any single one of us can leave the world a better place.
Our legacy however small [however humble] is important.
Our legacy… if we have lived and loved [and contributed] with grace and humility and integrity cannot help but leave its mark on the world. Maybe we can stop the leak… all of us together?
I think it’s important.
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