Living in harmony……..

‘Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.   Thomas MertonP1100559I have been thinking about a time in my life when I experienced a sense of what it is to live in a state of innocence and harmony.

After World War II – yet another hideous war which was supposed to be the war to end all wars,  the powers that be decided that it was time to integrate the young people of Europe.        All sorts of schemes and programmes were adopted.    School children were encouraged to have pen pals from other countries and when possible to travel and meet one another.P1100549Given that I grew up in Kent, not too far from the English Channel,  where France can be seen from England on a clear day,  I was one of many young people who were able to meet up with counterparts from other countries.

My fondest memories are of being on the beach at Broadstairs, Kent – soaking up the experience of being with others, who at a time of limited travel and communication, appeared different, and yet the same.           Most of us had a spattering of other languages, but as is the case with the young, communication was natural and easily nurtured.

In hindsight, I now realise that we young people on that beach, English, German, Dutch, French, Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish etc. held at that moment in time, a sense of universal values.      P1100555We hadn’t experienced the first hand horrors of two hideous world wars as our parents had…..rather there was a feeling of new beginnings – a time when people could co-exist with one another – where a sense of harmony might prevail.

During that idealistic moment in life, we were unable to foresee the problems of our world today.      We had no idea that fifty-five years on our collective lives would look like pure science fiction.P1100564It has been said many times that the definition of madness is to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and expect a different outcome.    Words that have been ringing in my ears as I observe our world today.

As always, I look towards Mother Nature for answers……It is here that we are shown how to achieve a sense of balance, rhythm and harmony.

A magical hummingbird drinking from the sweet nectar of life. 20-11-15 - 1 (81)A Bientôt

 

 

41 thoughts on “Living in harmony……..

  1. Bushka

    Excellent post…..I have always agreed wholeheartedly with Thomas Merton observation on ‘Happiness’ and ‘Balance’. Most delightful images Janet. Love them. Have a Super Day! Hugs! ❤

    Reply
  2. davidprosser

    Such a shame that the harmony of the young being together couldn’t be maintained. In the old days we used to take hostages of the high born to hold against being attacked. Maybe we should reintroduce that so no-one wanted to start a new war and put their young at risk.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Reply
  3. teagan geneviene

    Dear Janet — this is perhaps your most beautiful post. The narrative builds as the lily comes into being. Words reflecting painting, reflecting words… And both are exquisite.
    One more work day and then it’s my every other Friday off. Have a thriving Thursday. Mega hugs!

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Teagan, Thank you so much for this lovely comment…it means so much coming from you.
      I hope that you have a lovely Friday/long weekend. Enjoy and may your creative juices flow in all sorts of colourful ways….Janetxxx

      Reply
  4. Jet Eliot

    What a lovely post this is, Janet. The quote by Thomas Merton is so wonderful that I will tape it near my desk. The experience you shared on the beach was profound, and I really enjoyed your calla lily and hummingbird paintings, expressing the happiness you have experienced in a lifetime of balance and rhythm. I hope your weekend is filled with happiness too. 🙂

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet. Thank you so much for this comment. I am really pleased that you like the Thomas Merton quote. You have a first hand understanding of the natural world and how it shows us very clearly the necessity for the two essential elements of balance and rhythm.
      I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend, filled with natural beauty….Janet:)

      Reply
  5. snowbird

    What a marvelous quote by Merton, how true! I love this lily and the colours in your little hummers are just gorgeous. How lovely that the lack of language was no barrier, I often think most communication is non verbal. The world has certainly moved on, in giant leaps and strides too, I often think that technology is outstripping humans, it becomes more and more advanced yet each generation of people start from scratch….yes, the same old mistakes are made repeatedly. I always remember my father telling me that if you could imagine something, you could create it.xxx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Dina…..I completely agree with your Father. As we both know there are many benefits to be had from today’s technology, including you and I communicating through this blog…..however, as I observe more and more people controlled by technology, rather than the other way around…I do look back wistfully to the day when we communicated face to face – regardless of language.
      I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend, and that all the furies behave themselves….janet:)xxx

      Reply
  6. davidjrogersftw

    A lovely and moving post, Janet. I can picture everything you describe and of course can identify with the look of your photos since they bring back memories of my childhood to me. We here in the U.S. were far physically from those wars but heard stories from fathers and uncles who were in them. I personally had no experience similar to your meeting of children on the beach. But it is such a vivid image to me now. Thank you for writing the post. I want to be sure to tell you that my wife and I look at your lovely works and say to each other, “Isn’t that beautiful.”

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David….So glad you enjoyed this post…..and am delighted to know that you and your wife are enjoying looking at my artwork. One of the great benefits of technology is the fact that we are able to communicate in this manner, and that artists of all disciplines are able to share their work far more easily…..
      I wish you both a very beautiful weekend….janet:)

      Reply
      1. davidjrogersftw

        Yes, Janet. I too think it is rewarding to be in touch with creative people from all around the world and to have the opportunity to enjoy their work. For a person who grew up in very different era, it is magical.

  7. olganm

    Gorgeous post. You’re so right. That quote is one of my constants too. And as a psychiatrist I can say there’s more than a bit of truth in it. How we keep banging our heads against a wall instead of finding a way around it…
    Thanks for the inspiration and the wisdom.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Olga. Perhaps it is because I have banged my head against walls over the years, that I have learned how futile it is:) Thank you so much for this comment, and am hoping that you are enjoying a relaxing weekend. Janet:)x

      Reply
  8. Mary

    An incredible Calla, that is superb in all its richness Janet. Your message is provocative and vivid – how do we move forward when we’ve collectively moved back to who knows how far? The tears in your voice is heard and the words of Thomas Merton brings it home.

    Reply
  9. eloisedesousa

    Janet, it was lovely sharing a coffee with you at my blog and I agree wholeheartedly with your post. Your art is exquisite by the way. Thank you again for visiting my blog and I look forward to exploring yours. 😊

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Eloise, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blog along with coffee and delicious cake:) I will now look forward to learning much more about you…..thank you so much for this kind comment and hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend. Janet. :)x

      Reply
  10. janetweightreed10 Post author

    Good morning dear Kathryn….thank you so much for your kind words….Hoping all is well with you and that you are thoroughly enjoying your new home. Have a lovely Tuesday and Easter week….Janet:)xxx

    Reply
    1. kathryningrid

      Yes, thanks, our new place is excellent—just right for this point in our life. In the three months since we sold the house, we’ve had overnight company in the apartment almost a month of the time, in total! While it’s entirely different now that we have no dedicated guest room and therefore the living room/lounge gets sequestered with curtains as the new sleep-over space (and we have one bathtub/shower instead of three), it’s worked remarkably well and only serves to highlight how much space there really is here when there are just the two of us. We’ve had small-scale lunch and dinner dates with a number of people, and even had about 10 of us in the little sitting area when the grad students and a couple of their wives were all here, and it’s snug but quite convivial, so I’m all the more certain we made the right choice.

      In the meantime, we had a true holiday this past week (university Spring Break) with my older sister in the wildflower heart of Texas, and while each of us had *some* work-related tasks to keep current during the week, we mostly played tourist, ate and drank and visited together, and rested. So very welcome! Now we’re all back in our respective home and work grooves, it seems almost a dream that we were just in the bluebonnet-studded, river-washed green of Hill Country only a few days ago, but it does help to come back to the mundane with a refreshed spirit. Surely the Texas buzzards and grackles were kindly acting as stand-ins for hummingbirds. 😀

      A very happy Easter week to you, too, my dear!
      xoxo,
      Kathryn

      Reply
      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        I think when we live in smaller spaces, it focuses the mind. My flat in London is a one bedroom flat…albeit, very light with high ceilings…it’s actually more studio with a little bit of living around the paints and paintings:) Like you, I have many guests…and they sleep on my blow up air bed in amongst the paintings…and it works like a treat. Every now and then when I have people for lunch or dinner, I simply use my big watercolour table…..and yes one bathroom/shower etc. Like you, I have lived in big houses with much more space, but have to say I love being in a more compact, easier to take care of place. Wonderful that you got away…I call it cleansing the mental palette. Janet. xxx

  11. Vera Komnig

    I love to read you, my dear sister in art and yes, I agree that we need a sense of balance, rhythm and harmony to be in inner peace.
    Hope you have a happy easter with your family?! ❤

    Reply
    1. davidjrogersftw

      Vera, I love your words “my dear sister in art.” A wonderful expression of the special connection among artists, and as I have seen, especially among women artists.

      Reply
      1. Vera Komnig

        🙂 Thank you so much for your nice comment, David. Yes, I feel a very special connection to my dear sister in art, Janet and I am so happy that I found her in this Internet World.

        Happy Easter, David 🙂

        Sometimes I feel, that we paint out of the same heart and see the world in a very equal way. She is a great gift for me.

      2. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning dear Vera – Sister in Art:) Indeed we do see the world in an equal way and my connecting with you has been an enormous gift. David, you are another creative who I am so pleased to have met through this medium. Janet:)

    2. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you dear Vera….I am having a lovely weekend, and hope the same is true for you…..Here’s to balance, rhythm and harmony in our lives:) Your sister in art…janet.xxx

      Reply

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