At our recent annual retreat the Board of Directors, executive leadership, management, staff, interns, volunteers, and special guests selected N as the letter that best epitomizes our mission-driven 2019 portfoliolongo.com efforts. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays and, if applicable, Merry Christmas.
Annyth and I are once again happy to share our annual Christmas letter, a tradition many of you look forward to all year long. This year it’s F. Happy holidays from everyone here at portfoliolongo.
Here’s a digital image for you, one I’m calling, “Surfacing.” It’s not a very Christmas-like image…at first glance; however, there is “divine birth” dimension. Where? How? WTF?
As a beginner in the practice of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, I’ve discovered something about the content of my own attention and the breadth of its span. Most of what I pay attention to has nothing to do with the actual spatial and temporal dimensions of the situations that I inhabit; and my five senses usually just go along for the ride throughout the day. That’s another way of saying that I’m rarely “in the moment.” Most of the time my mind is automatically wandering and dragging around clusters of feelings that reside in my muscles’ memories. I’m basically flying around and around in a bird cage whose little door is wide open but somehow hidden from my view.
I ruminate, therefore I am; and my rumination is my ruination. All of that highly-evolved cognitive activity that we call thinking, so necessary for our survival as a species, keeps us alive and incarcerated by decommissioning our senses. If we can’t see the open door, we won’t fly away. We’re taught to fear freedom by our own trauma. The curriculum for this self destruction is saturated in our flesh and bones; at the collective level it’s encoded in our enculturation and socialization processes to keep the entire flock from flying away.
Sometimes when I’m on my cushion, my mat, or my iPad Pro, I lean into an arbitrary assignment automatically delivered to me by this mostly destructive curriculum. I do so because I’ve learned that avoiding or denying them nourishes them. I’ve learned that leaning in requires an effort, takes practice, and yields dividends. I wonder if it’s a sin to vacate the Present Moment?
“Surfacing” is the result of one of these leaning into’s. Yesterday I managed to notice the compulsive appearance of one of these arbitrary assignments as it surfaced. Rather than repressing it and the scary feelings accompanying it, I entertained it momentarily before it disappeared. It grabbed the tissues of the moment I inhabited and the body I inhabit. It seemed real. With its sharp claws it tugged at and stretched the membrane of the living moment encapsulating me…until…poof!
By the time I noticed exhaling, it was gone, Merry Christmas, and another assignment had arrived.
As is our holiday custom, the staff at portfoliolongo.com puts out an Annual Christmas Letter, click here for previous letters. This year’s letter is Q. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Digital iPad art done mainly in SketchClub on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil
For the past few years we’ve put out our annual Christmas letter digitally, and this year it’s capital E. Click here to see small t and h. We like to keep’em short.
Paper 53, Procreate, iColorama
Enjoy this year’s letter! Last year, you may recall, the letter was h; but, there was no music. This year is different. Thanks for visiting, and all the very best to you, your family, and loved ones!
Santa’s Mood, an original portfoliolongo.com holiday tune:
I believe that even Santa fantasizes about cutting loose on a John Deere, no GPS, on the open field.
SAD NOTE: I used to sell a small greeting card featuring this image on my Redbubble page . Pretty sure I sold 11 copies…worldwide! No, just checked: I sold 14 greeting cards and one t-shirt!!! Earned $11.74 (USD)!! On April 4, 2019 Redbubble notified me that they received a complaint from Deere & Company alleging my artwork violated their rights; consequently, Redbubble removed it. A spokesperson from Santa Clause declined to comment.
Merry Christmas, hear!