Come Back to What You Love

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a picture of her daughter Marika Warden on Bells Beach in Australia.Keep coming back to what you love. A friend told me that. Years ago. I don’t remember the exact circumstances under which she said this. But, thankfully, these words echo in my mind whenever I find myself antsy, anxious. Immobilized.

A photograph of my daughter Marika on Bells Beach in Australia is what I come back to. The original photo was taken by her friend Carla when, during a brief time of remission, for two weeks Marika escaped cancer, chemo, her doctors, and me. Marika was planning to go back to Australia to become a nurse. This was one of her happiest times.

Last week, when CNN News announced another Consequential Week, one with much at stake for our country and the world, I turned off the TV. I dragged and dropped the tiny digital photo into Photoshop for the umpteenth time. Then, for most of the weekend, I expanded and embellished it, and lovingly rendered it into a comforting appliqued-quilt type of design. With all the ups and downs of the world , it helps to know what you love and what you need to balance your life. Sometimes you need to revisit and rework every little detail of the past. Sometimes you need to look back in order to move forward.

 

What do you go back to when facing your own weighty moments?

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6 thoughts on “Come Back to What You Love

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    This is so true, Robin, and I love the image of Marika so carefree and full of hope. My oldest son said something similar to me after Vic died, “Do something you used to love and see if you’ll learn to love it again.” I walked for months. When the weather got cold, I did lots of dreaming painting and will likely do more painting when the weather gets colder. I’ve been in love with raising Monarchs this summer which wasn’t part of my life when Vic was here other than admiring them in the garden. The last one flew south today. I think I’ll take a walk and see who else is out there sipping nectar.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      It’s sad, isn’t it Elaine, that the weather gets so unfriendly to walkers and walking here in Upstate New York. I try to walk all year long but definitely don’t enjoy it that much when it’s cold and wet and I have to bundle myself and the dog up in order not to freeze. Luckily, we have other things we can dive into in wintertime. Funny how we come back to some things we love and find new appetites for them, maybe new approaches. And we go off in new directions, sometimes with a little sadness that the one we’re missing couldn’t have seen us in our new endeavors. Often I think that if Marika could see me now, she wouldn’t recognize her old mom. But at the same time, I think she’d be proud of me. New ventures or old familiar ones, I’m pretty sure our loved ones would be proud of us.

      Reply
  2. Lynne Taetzsch

    For me, tackling a canvas whether I feel like it or not is a way to stay grounded and dissipate the anxiety. Something about working with color, texture and form absorbs me completely.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Yow, Lynne. “Tackling” a canvas. That says something right there, I think. I remember when I used to paint and draw. I could lose myself and my time completely. Absorbed – exactly that. For me, I’m not sure if I was staying “grounded” or soaring off into some other realm. But yow, that was completely engaging. It happens to me when I’m involved in Photoshop sometimes. It scares me a little that time and everything can disappear when I get into working.

      Reply
  3. Lucy Bergström

    I love the leaping Marika with her quilted background. She found ways to be happy in spite of it all. I’m so glad you can return to this, her most happy moment, to find comfort. Love, Lucy PS I’ll be in town briefly at the end of the month.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      What? No, really? Back in town? I hope I can catch up with you for a bit. Yes, comfort comes from strange places these days. Sometimes simply hearing a perfect note from my cornet makes me melt. Sometimes comfort comes from sitting in the rocking chair with my dog falling asleep in my lap. And sometimes it’s just in being with a friend who remembers who you were before you got to be who you are today. Give me a call if you have a moment.

      Reply

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