Kind Promise: I will love without keeping score.

PaintingI enter this new month wondering what I will learn about love.

Today, I painted for the first time in a while. I reminded myself: prime the space, charge the brush, make a mark. When I first sit down to paint, I moisten each color in my watercolor paint tray, stroking it with a wet brush. When I am ready to paint that color, more paint adheres to the brush and the mark I make is brighter and bolder. When I put the brush into a color, I twist it around to get the brush fully loaded with paint before bringing it over to the paper and stroking it across.

Does this teach me anything about love?

As I go into this month, can I imagine painting each person and object I encounter with a light brushing of love?
In the areas of my life where I know love, can I revel in it? (The metaphor that occurs to me is the one of a dog rolling in a good smell. That’s not poetically correct – or maybe it is…) By charging myself with love, when I come to make a new mark, it may be brighter and bolder.

In the middle of writing this, a friend texted me Nic Askew’s TEDx talk from a few days ago [and I, breaking 21st century writers’ rules about distraction, read and answered it.] Askew (a filmmaker who dubs his work “soul biographies,” says, “”My only job is to see that person from behind whatever is in the way.” He means not only what burdens the other people person may be carrying, but also the expectation and preconceptions – the agenda – that he may be bringing to the conversation. He talks about “the space between,” that open space into which, if we are brave, we may meet each other.

Before I make a paint mark, I face the blank sheet of paper. How can I create a space between us into which we can paint love?

My early answers: time, patience, unconditional positive regard…

I have my assignments for this month: brush love, revel in love, open the space between.