This word “elated” felt slightly frustraiting to me. Why?, I asked myself. I struggled to figure out why I felt no inspiration about this prompt word for week 33 of Intuitive Collage. I didn’t even want to do it and I thought about skipping the week. Hmmm….
As usual, when I struggle with a word I look up the definition to see if I missed something. Maybe there’s a hidden clue in some form of the word. This one was very simple, no hidden clues: Elated means ecstatically happy. Then I thought to myself, how long has it been since I’ve felt ecstatically happy? I couldn’t remember the last time I felt that way in recent years. I had to go back further and dig deep to get in touch with those “elated” feelings.
Happiness is the Feul of Life
I felt elated when my children were born and as I cared for them and watched them grow up. My family has always been my primary source of joy. I also felt elated when I traveled to new places and learned new things.
I’ve felt very happy about many things, but elated sounds like over and above everyday happiness. For me, the joy of everyday beauty and goodness is what keeps me going. If I couldn’t see the beauty in little things like my plants, my pets, the natural environment, and even the weather, then I would be an unhappy person. If I couldn’t see the goodness in the smile of a stranger, the service of a store clerk or other workers, or the kindness of everyday interactions between people, I would be a depressed person.
So I am grateful and happy in general. But perhaps life needs some moments of ecstacy as well. That feeling of having reached the mountian top, or experiencing a rare or profound moment of pure joy. I felt this way the first (and only) time I went scuba diving at a shipwreck in the Carribbean, 70 feet down. But if I did that every day, or as a profession, would I continue to feel elated every time?
Joining the Highlights and Shadows
I think it wouldn’t be natural to feel elated every day, but it is important to have those moments in life. In art, highlights and shadows are important to a composition. So too in life, the ups and downs keep propelling us forward. Our challenges keep us searching for answers while our moments of elation keep us believing it’s all worth it. Between those two extremes life and art appear in many shades, colors and forms. All that is in between the highlights and shadows is day to day life. Happiness and saddness and everything in the middle runs the expanse from elation to despair.
To make a beautiful composition in art we use all the elements of color, form, value, texture and contrast in endlessly creative ways. We bring all the elements and tools together with our heart and mind to express something that pleases us. I think of life as a work of art. We are constantly striving to use all of our mental, emotional and physical resources to create a life that has value and meaning to us.
With these thoughts I worked on week 34: “Joining”. I thought about people joining together to accomplish things and about bridges joining places and people across an expanse. These things have meaning to me. I’ve spent my life working with people to build metaphorical bridges between races, cultures and philosophies for the sake of world peace. Even my marriage created a kind of bridge across the world.
Joining Hearts Means the Most to Me
“Joining” also makes me think of love, family and friends – the joining of lives in loving relationships. There is a joining of generations and experiences that lead to something new. Sometimes I also even feel a quiet sense of elation when I can bring together my life experience with my creative aspirations and express what’s in my heart.