"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. " Albert Einstein
Last month was a smudged picture of wispy gray canvas in Northwest Montana. Raging fires from our own state and two bordering states blew in thick, stagnant air that burned the eyes and lungs- making people feel as if they were chain-smoking the minute they stepped outside.
The conditions made life challenging for everyone, from people who had health problems, to the young athletes like my son who runs on the cross-country team. Events have been cancelled, delayed, or moved to other towns.
The ever-present mountains could only be imagined in the minds eye, for they were not visible.
Just yesterday the forecast changed. The wind picked up and moved the smoke out. The prediction this week is possible showers and even snow in the mountains. The change is welcome and embraced by those of us who love to be outdoors, as well as much needed relief for the firefighters who have worked so hard to contain the rage of the wild forests. Like the old cliché: what a difference a day makes.
Today I looked up to the clear sky and embraced the clouds. I greeted the mountains with a new appreciation, as if seeing them for the first time. I recognized again how during the month of September I drew strength from my imagination.
Life gets hazy sometimes. When we can't see the clear picture in times of trial, sorrow, or life's many challenges, the one thing than can get us through is our artistic energy. For me that usually is playing my cello, or doing something creative with my children that gets my brain thinking outside the realm of solid knowledge.
Einstein had it right. Art is Life. Living life is an art. If I can persevere through the times where life seems to be choking out my spirit, I can fall back on my creative talents, and imagine a clear and sunny day coming up in the near future. And I won't get discouraged.
How about you? How do you live your life to grow, persevere and succeed in times where you cannot envision the clear picture?
by Jen Slayden