Sunday, September 11, 2016

Rest

Summit Park Garry Oaks
Pencil, Graphite and Ink on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c 2010
Not Available


Down time: Puzzles, tea, a sketchbook, a novel, a hammock, the cottage, a tropical vacation, a walk by the sea, a nap, a walk in the forest, a movie... the list goes on, doesn't it? There are a million things I love to do (or not do) to recharge my engines. I don't know about you but there just doesn't seem to be enough of it either.

I remember when I was a kid - there seemed to be tons of it. I supposed that comes with a privileged, middle-class childhood. I can't remember the last time I just lay under a tree and stared at clouds floating across a big blue sky through branches swaying in a gentle breeze. When I was a youngster, Heather McGhee and I used to ride our bikes to the Mill Pond on a Saturday and eat our bagged lunches on the grass under the tent-like boughs of the giant willow tree. It was peaceful and fun. We had exercise, food, talk and rest. Life was quite perfect.

I don't know when we lose that space, that time, to just be. I am often admonished for the time I spend staring into one of my many devices: laptop, desktop, iPod, smart phone, e-reader, Etch-a-Sketch ...just seeing if you were paying attention. I actually do have an Etch-a-Sketch - two, actually and I love them. I would definitely put Etch-a-Sketch in the down time list.


Big Island of Hawaii
Oil Pastel and Mineral Oil on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2006
Available

As you can see, I've included some of my own drawings in this post. The thing is, I used to draw in my down time too. I studied with a number of artists and I used to draw pretty much every day - during lunches, after work and on the weekend. Now that I am writing avidly (on the second draft of my first novel) and sending short works and poetry off to magazines, I don't have as much time to draw, so that has gone a bit by the wayside for now.

Victoria Warehouses
Oil Pastel on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2006
Available

Now it seems, to really get down time, I have to take time off work in large chunks, get any necessary chores out of the way that absolutely have to be done and THEN I can take some down time after I've worked on the writing that has lain dormant because I've been too tired or too this and that... Blah, blah, blah. And trust me, I know, this is all first world problem nonsense but what I really want to get at is, I think it is crucial to make time to chill out - whatever that means to you. If we want to be well then we need to get exercise, eat well, laugh as much as possible, love with an open heart and HAVE FUN!


The House
Watercolour Pencil on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2004
Available

Even though I was laid off this year with my position being made redundant, I am still getting work there and it is a beautiful location. At lunch, I try to make time to walk to peaceful campus getaways like Mystic Vale - which absolutely restores the soul - particularly from the distress of uncertain employment! I have learned we boldly walk forward with gratitude and a good heart despite the changing times. I have another day, another opportunity to love and be a part of good lives in a beautiful place. I am not without fear in this - I am not perfect - but positive thoughts help lead to positive results. I remain committed to service for those who need it, benefit from it and have the grace and open hearts to receive it.


The Mallard
Watercolour Pencil on Paper
5 x 7
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2004
Available

What do you do for down time? I'm open to new ideas, suggestions and hilarious anecdotes. I'm excited to know that I'm not alone in my need to chill out. I believe that it is in our moments of freedom, our moments of lightness, that greatness happens. Breathe deeply and give space to your potential. Open your mind and heart to all that is here for us if we just stop for a minute, breathe into our bellies and connect to "all". Yesterday I went for a nice dinner with someone I love and drove down by the cruise ships and welcomed all the new visitors to Victoria! They were quite surprised and delighted to have complete strangers welcoming them to the city! 


Baby Parker
Pencil on Paper
Gillian Cornwall
Commissioned - Not available

I think that if we can integrate down time back into our work, we will achieve much greater standards of excellence. Greatness takes time, space and belief in ourselves and each other. All too often, I look around me and I see people racing to check off the boxes. "Let's get it done!" And all too often, if we stopped, thought and made space for thinking outside of the box, we would get it done a lot better, faster and with greater enjoyment.


Arwen Portrait
Pencil on Paper
4 x 6
Gillian Cornwall, c.1999
Not for sale

There is time. There is space. We just need to allow ourselves to take it. Most of us do not NEED more stuff or more money to get more stuff. We need to stop, slow down and be present in our lives. Down time. That's what we need.

The Grizzly Bear
Oil Pastel on Paper
Gillian Cornwall, c. 1996
Available

This is your imposed down time between a grizzly bear and a farm cat. *Breathe here* :-)

Boots the Cat
Oil Pastel on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c.1994
Available

If anyone is interested, please share your thoughts on this subject by leaving a comment below or on Facebook. I know most people just want to have a look and duck out unnoticed and that is fine too. I hope you are off to do something fun and relaxing - maybe do some of your own drawings?

The West Coast Rainforest - Long Beach
Ink on Paper
Not Available for sale
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2009

While I may seem fairly light-hearted about this, I want to acknowledge that there are millions of people around the world who struggle in every hour of every day just to survive and if those of us who have so much shared just a bit with someone else, we could ease their path a great deal and perhaps allow them to stop and breathe one day without having to worry all the time. There is always more we can do for others and this can be a down time thing too. Read to someone who can't read for themselves anymore. Bring someone a treat. Make a donation if you can. Share your beautiful gifts with another person - for we are one and we are greater together than apart.

The Wave
Oil Pastel and Mineral Oil on Paper
8 x 10
Gillian Cornwall, c. 1988
Available

Thanks for stopping by and having a read. I hope you enjoyed it. I love sharing with each of you and send you love and blessings for a peaceful and joyous day. Know that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, someone out here is thinking of you and wishing you the very best of life. Never give up. Walk your path with your head held high and feel the simple joy of the sun on your face when it does shine.

-Gillian Cornwall, re-posted September 11, 2016
c. November 2, 2014

1 comment:

Kim Rowe said...

Thanks for reminding us Gillian of what is important in life. As for my down time, I love hikes in nature on this beautiful island we call home, and sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee in the warm sun.