Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bouquet in London Cafe

Bouquet in London Cafe
Copyright 2014 Hirschten
Oil on Canvas
11" x 14"

When I was a teenager I went on a trip to France.  I was very, very excited about the trip.  I had studied French language and art for years beforehand to prepare.

When I arrive I had a wonderful time.  I had a host family that served me five course meals from their seafood restaurant every evening.  It was lovely but inside I felt a bit let down.  France wasn't perfect.  It wasn't Shangri-la, a mythically divine place.

One day toward the end of the trip I was walking along the streets of Paris with my friends just below Montmartre.  I looked up and hanging from a window was a large banner in English which read:

"Bloom where you are planted."

Often happiness feels like it is just out of reach.  It is as if we are climbing a mountain trying to reach the summit of bliss but the mountain just gets taller.  It feels as though Shangri-la is just out of our reach.  The Buddhists might say that this is because all life is suffering.  If we can accept where we are we can learn to bloom anywhere.  We can learn to create happiness by allowing our roots to sink down into the soil of wherever the wind takes us.

If you can love one person, you can love yourself.
If you can love yourself, you can love anyone.
If you can see beauty in one spot on earth, you can see it anywhere.

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