To Be Reminded

I read recently read an excerpt from astronaut Scott Kelly’s memoir titled, Endurance: A Year In Space, A Lifetime Of Discovery, about what he learned from being in space for 340 days in 2015. Talk about endurance!

In it he writes, “I‘ve learned that grass smells great, and wind feels amazing and rain is a miracle. I will try to remember how magical these things are for the rest of my life.” He goes on to write, “I’ve also learned that our planet is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and that we’re lucky to live on it.”

This is exactly how I feel when I paint. I usually paint something I’ve seen somewhere in my travels and I often say to myself, “Try to remember how magical this view felt and how lucky I am to have seen this.” And then when I return to my studio I paint the way it felt to me, not so much the way it looked, because what our planet feels like is, as Scott Kelly says, “magical.”

Imagine a scientist using such a word? And yet he does, because, I surmise, when all the science is stripped away and all that’s left is the light and the color and the image of the earth itself, well it must seem pretty mystical to a man of science.

As a woman of art, that’s one of the reasons I paint. So I can be reminded just how extraordinary living on planet earth is, and that’s why I write, so I can remind myself just how meaningful it is to be human.