“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
No, I am not an artist, nor even a painter. My craft is the more mundane, that of an experienced DIY’er. The house I currently live in is an old house and needs to be regularly painted on the outside, both the walls, as well as the windows, which are made of wood.
The walls are white and the windows were matt black. The last time the outside of the house was painted was approximately five years ago. A number of the houses in the village have recently been painted and look fresh and new. Our house was looking drab and needed to be painted. Rather than just repaint the windows black, we decided to paint them a “forest green” colour, to both brighten them up and also bring the house more up to date.
After purchasing the paint, and other preparation materials including brushes, masking tape, and sanding paper, I could not put off any longer the task of painting the windows any longer. With fourteen windows, a set of patio doors, a back door and a front door, this was a task that was going to take days. For each window, the preparation is key. Sanding down and making good the wood. Masking taping the glass to prevent the paint running. Then, as they were previously black, having to undercoat and prime, before the final top coat of weatherproof gloss.
I don’t know if it was Zen, but the focus needed to perform these tasks meant I was completely focused on the moment by moment activities. For a number of days, I have painted numerous windows.
Have I finished? Nope, not quite.
I have the front door and two windows to go. Have I found the task odorous? No, I have not. I have enjoyed every moment by moment focus on the task. That is what mindfulness gives you. We all have the native ability within us to be mindful, through training and practice helps. The next time you find yourself focusing on a task and for a moment find yourself “in the moment”, that is mindfulness practice.
I realise that there are mindfulness colouring books and painting books that are available. I just happened to do it on a much larger scale. I was given a mindfulness colouring book and will give it a try to see if I get the same result. There is a raft of colouring books available, some are here:
The picture I’ve used on this blog post is a stock image of the colour of paint I used just so you can see what it looks like.
I leave you with the following quote which made me smile. I love the works of Terry Pratchett.
“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.” ― Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time