Winter 2005 
"Do not be afraid to love. Without love, life is impossible." - Thich Nhat Hanh 

The Journey 

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice- 
the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
"mend my life!" 
each voice cried. 
But you didn't stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with it's stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world, 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do- 
determined to save 
the only life you could. 
- Mary Oliver 

Transition time...Thich Nhat Hanh says, "True love contains respect." Having recently returned from Thailand, I have begun to live differently and face life with a new respect.   Seeing the effects of unrelenting nature in Thailand was a sobering experience. I will never be the same. Life is short and anything can happen. These days are currently, difficult and glorious. I'm splitting my time between, my home in Georgia and New York and Seattle. Painting. The new series has begun. It will show at PPOW in the Spring of 06. I am finding a new way. I'm being influenced by Hammershoi, Hopper, Balthus, Picasso, the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Hockney's ideas about form and content. Mark Rothko said, "It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as good painting about nothing." The new paintings are addressing this period in my life; I can't do otherwise. To deny that I've been in mid-life would probably be to deny the truth so I won't. I'm not above it. The question is "how will I maneuver through it and where am I in the process?" We must all find our own way and no one will be able to do it for us. Trusting our instincts is difficult and in this phase of life it is particularly difficult. But I am. And I'm not afraid of where they are leading me. " Be careful of nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God". -Phillipians 4:6.  If we don't hold on too tightly to our beliefs, be they social or religious or scientific, we can be open to the reality that is unfolding within us and around us. We've heard it said, "be careful what you ask for",,, but we are reminded that we are co-creating our lives, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do..."- John 14:13.  Obviously, there is a place where quantum physics dovetails into religion. We are evolving. It happens everyday, in increments. We are determining where we are headed. Make your choices wisely. Life's not stopping for any of us. "Through it all",  Barbara Kingsolver writes, "the little engines of evolution have kept on turning as they have for millennia, delivering us here and passing on, untouched by politics or what anybody thinks."  I encourage us all to live fully. 

Bo Bartlett