It was the middle of the night. The jet lag was all consuming and I was pretty sure there would be no sleeping. I tried to steady my mind against my husband's rhythmic breathing but it wasn't working. My brain was awake no matter how many times I told my body to settle down under the heavy warmth of the covers and join the rest of my family in the simple act of slumber.
What felt like hours later and still wide-eyed, I had no choice but to act. I was tired of feeling futile with nothing to do but listen to my skittish mind and its endless internal dialogue. I knew from experience that if I just declared an all nighter I could actually enjoy the stillness, the uninterrupted peacefulness, and possibly even reach a level of productiveness that during normal waking hours is a rare feat. So I rolled myself out of bed and shuffled down the hall to my work space.
The desire to make a heart had already been brewing inside of me for a few weeks. While I was in LA, a friend of my amazing sister who runs the Playful Art Studio held an open studio day for making hearts in service of the families who lost loved ones during the Newton Elementary School shooting. I wanted to show support. I wanted to make hearts with meaning together with my family. I wanted to step into the world of a working artist who has apparently transformed her garage into the most inspiring art studio.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to join the workshop or experience the studio first hand, but the idea of making a heart stuck. And for whatever reason that is the idea my jet lagged brain latched onto that night. And with thoughts of my loving husband sleeping peacefully in our bed, I dedicated my love doodle to him. I doodled away until dawn broke through and birds chirped. Switching from pencil and paper to mini canvas and paints, I let the desire to quickly getting something down and make this endless night not be for nothing guide the way. Wet paint became a scratch pad and the secret simplicity of a heart, two hands, oh so different yet still wrapped around the same blissful heart and joined as one, engulfed in electric bolts of energy and drops of water, at times for joy and others for anger. "I chose to lay my hand in yours" I wrote. And I am happy I did.