Relax your Mind

Miss Buela's Garden - salt-scrubbed watercolor 

Miss Buela's Garden - salt-scrubbed watercolor 

I approached the crude structure and pulled aside a piece of madras fabric that had been fashioned into an entrance.  Incense smoke twisted and curled through the air in a thick haze.  As my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit, smoke filled room, they fixated upon a Nefertiti-esque woman.  She wore a traditional, ceremonial Jip cut from the same madras as the curtain.  Her madras headpiece had three peaks, indicating that she had been married once, but was either widowed or divorced.  She sat calm, poised.  She extended a gamine arm and motioned me forward.  I cautiously crept closer and as soon as I was close enough, I became entranced by her doe-like hazel eyes.

"Breathe." She said in the same Creole dialect as Antoine.  "Relax."

-an excerpt from Sketches from the Heart of a Texas Artist

Sometimes it's easy to get so caught up in our daily grind that we forget to slow down and relax... or at least I do.  Even on an island, it's tempting to equate hours worked with income earned.  Today I was a bit undecided on which idea I should write about, so I polled a handful of men on the island and asked them what theme my weekly "love-spritation" email reflect.  "Chillax."  One man said in a thick Creole dialect.  Another nodded.

It was about 11AM  and the Easterly wind had blown a new layer of sea grass along the shoreline.  The water was too rough to take anyone fishing so they sat quietly along the pier, Belikin beers in hand.  They didn't say much, rather, they gazed upon the rolling waves and the breeze batted their boats against the wooden dock.  They possessed an aura of peace that I would typically feel guilty for indulging in during a work week, but I thought that perhaps they were on to something.

I thought back to my novel when Mona Lamar approaches Madame de la Maison. Mona was in a place of anxiety ridden uncertainty when the Madame advised her to "Breathe..." "Relax."  So in a practice of self love, I too approached a crude structure just paces down a sandy road from the beach, pulled out my sketchbook, took a deep breath, and began to quietly relax my mind as I illustrated all of the tropical beauty that surrounded me.