Thursday, April 26, 2012

MEET SHAUN…Kita’s new best bud…



Oh Shaun, I just love that…..


Perhaps I should begin at the beginning.  About a week ago I was driving up the hill and noticed a new hiker.  Pulling into the garage, I went for the mail and who walks by but that very same person who asked me if I wasn’t concerned to see a strange man walking the hill.  “No” says I and we began to chat.  Turns out this fellow is from Texas and has two Huskies.  Well, he immediately qualifies for the Parker household and I invite him in to meet Charles, telling him Charles left Texas for Harvard where he learned to say ‘ridiculous’ instead of b@#*!*#@t.  Turns out ‘Shaun’ is a pilot who flies private corporate jets out of Houston and  also flew some fancy special plane made by General Dynamics where Charles worked selling submarines to the Navy.  Whew…that’s a mouthful!  Anyway, they had a lot in common and I had dog walking in mind.  Since Shaun was in such a walking mood, I asked him if he’d want to take Kita out for a stroll.  Perhaps to the park? ”Sure” answers Shaun as I wonder if he has any idea what he’s getting into.  “Shaun, I’m leaving now to go to my mom’s so just bring Kita back ‘whenever’….bye bye.”  And off I go.

Now I should tell you that originally Shaun and his co-pilot were to have stayed at the airport Marriot but it was full so they were at the Burbank Holiday Inn in ‘beautiful downtown Burbank’.  I tell you that so you have some idea of how far he walked to get to the house…….after first going up and down a couple of other hills.  Keep in mind that the park is not only down the hill but over several blocks.  That all adds up to Olympian walking!

Shaun phoned the next morning before takeoff back to Houston and told me they had a great walk EXCEPT Kita just sat in the street the last 500 yards, refusing to go any further and so Shaun CARRIED all of her 63 lbs. the rest of the way!





It should be noted that Shaun’s been back in town and game to not only walk but RUN with Kita on this hill!

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There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.