Saturday, June 14, 2008

Follow Your Bliss

These are words to live by. Arthur and I went on a painting trip to Oahu and we stayed with his grandfather's 81 year old friend. It was the first time I spent any time on that island off the tourist track. I have a new appreciation for an island that is the most developed of all the islands, yet still with so many unspoiled areas and so much beauty. I'll load photos later. I didn't realise there were so many small islands off it, many that you can canoe to. Swimming is an option to some but there are shallow waters with coral all around so a kayak would be better.

I titled this entry Follow Your Bliss, wise words that I first heard from Joseph Campbell, the philosopher from the Bill Moyer series on Myths. That is because the 81 year old friend used these as her parting words to us after a very productive week of painting, seeing lots of art at galleries and museums, not to mention an infusion of culture, and making contacts.

Then, yesterday a man came into the Arthur Johnsen Gallery (it was my once a week shift) and started telling me about his life. I guess he didn't really start by telling me about his life, I kind of pulled it out of him as he was going through the gallery and talking to me about different things. What struck me was how happy he seemed. At first he told me he used to grow roses. I found out that he had actually studied oceanography. That he actually had a Ph.D and even had been a college professor. But he didn't like the pressure of the academic life, of always having to publish papers (or lose your job), not to mention that he didn't enjoy teaching that much. So, even though he had all this training, he was able to put it all aside to pursue something he would rather do. Why spend the rest of your life doing something you don't enjoy. He figured he cut his losses. So he grew roses for twenty years. I don't think I met anyone so content as this man.

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