That was the first bible verse I learned as a kindergarten aged boy. My Sunday school teacher (mandolinist Hal Jeanes’ mother) gave us all white leatherette Gideon bibles with the New Testament, psalms, and proverbs. I was brought up methodically in the church.
I memorized those words by heart and occasionally revisit them to mine what they mean to me at the moment. The verses don’t change but I do according to how they apply to my life.
The internet is a new place. It’s effect is much greater than the Guttenberg press and we still don’t know where it is going. But go we must. It’s how we check for the weather each day. It is how we order food from the grocery store and pay people on Venmo. It is Amazon. It is pervasive in all parts of modern life and if it were a human it would still be in diapers unable to focus.
It does have problems. Today it’s like all of us have our own talk show with no real connection to who is receiving it. No accountability. It’s like road rage. We feel a nameless frustration about getting from point A to point B in as little time as possible. We are removed from the situation by the glass and steel of the car. We don’t see the other person or the full effects of our rage.
About a month ago I was driving and letting a person in front of me. I waved at them in a friendly way to acknowledge our polite behavior. He must’ve misread my gesture because I got the middle finger as he passed. People are so primed and ready to fight in this world we have created that we can get things wrong creating more problems that are bigger than the first one.
These are just my thoughts over coffee before I get outside and begin a painting. You can ignore me and say it’s the rambling of a guy who’s a little off anyway.
Painting is meditative for me. I appreciate people seeing my paintings but I think I would do it if no one saw them. I did it that way for a long time. It turns my brain off and gives me a reset that allows me to come back in a more balanced mind. It is a painters prayer. A prayer that is:
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”