Art and Self-Care

My wife was gracious and gave me time to get out by myself today (she had some time yesterday--hockey was her preferred event). It had been a stressful week for both of us, and we're learning to take the time to take care of ourselves. I got some time alone at the YMCA (usually I have the children with me). Then I headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to explore and take some pictures.

Next time I need to remember to also take my sketchbook and pencils. I need to just sit and take it easy, relaxing and reflecting. I tend to try and take in as much as I can otherwise. Still, it was enjoyable to look and take some pictures. 

As I was looking at a special Henri Matisse exhibit, I heard an elementary-aged girl tell her parents, "I could draw that." I heard her say that about a few other pieces of art. And she may have been right. We've all thought that at times--especially with some of the modern art pieces. 

And it may be true. We may be able to come up with a very similar drawing. But usually we haven't. Some of it is our lack of connections in the art world. But likely it's just because we haven't taken the time to draw or paint something. Or possibly we could do something similar, but we probably haven't had the amount of practice or training it takes to come up with the right lines and curves or hues.

The same goes with self-care. I know that I need it. I know it's good for me. But I'm not always good about taking the time. I don't always do it very well because I haven't practiced or planned enough to do the things that are restful, re-energizing, or renewing for me.

I took a nice solo camping overnight last fall, but I haven't gotten much else done for a while other than an occasional trip to the Y or a little time in the basement painting. It's important I do take time for myself. It's important my wife does as well. It's important that we have time together as a family (we went to see The Lego Movie yesterday). It's important my wife and I have time together (which is often the hardest to fit in). 

There is beauty in art. There is necessity in self-care. Maybe there's a bit of beauty and necessity in both.

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