|from my art journal, 8.26.16: gesso, acrylic paint, watercolor, pan pastels, ink.|
It's late afternoon when Jim comes up the walkway from the beach. I watch as he opens the screen door and steps into the porch where I have been writing. He puts down the few things he has been carrying and eases himself into the Adirondack chair next to mine. Before this week, I had only heard a story or two about Jim, but I had never met him. He's a frank man, a contemporary--one it is easy to take a liking to.
We're quiet for a bit as Jim settles in chatting about nothing in particular when he asks,
Know what happiness is?
Family? Friends? Good health? I offer.
After a pause, Jim says, Well, they're all important. He waits a bit before continuing. Happiness is contentment with little.
Neither of us say anything. Before Jim repeats, Contentment with little.
Love that definition, I say aloud.
And Jim laughs a bit before saying, I saw that on the corner of a bulletin board in a trucking office one afternoon. I haven't forgotten it.
I left paints and my art journals at home last week when Devon and I headed to the beach. Last night I picked up one of my journals and began playing with the idea of happiness scattering sorrows--a quote that has been in my head since Jim shared the definition of happiness.
Sometimes to paint badly is to know contentment.
Little there too is often more.