Art Hiatus Update (Part Ten): Chilling With Nature

After heavily modifying my last article due to nudges from God to remove various knee jerk reaction things I said, I will now tell you about something that happened to me at the Sculpture Park as well as an update on my last spiritual retreat I went on. TL;DR at bottom, as always.

Often I go to a nearby Sculpture Park when I need to think. There’s a secluded area in the woods where an abandoned swimming pool from the 1940s resides. I was sitting on a stone bench near the pool when I was writing a list that started with “I HAVE…”, which then included things like, “…to let go of MY plans.”, “…to trust God’s plans.”, and “…to be still.”, among others.

A long stretch of time passed where it was just me and nature. Usually people visit this area frequently, but not while I was writing this list. As I sat there thinking of things to write down, I heard a very faint sound behind me. I slowly turned my head to find a deer eating about twenty feet away. It was just me and this deer for easily 10-15 minutes.

Eventually it spotted me but didn’t seem concerned as I sat perfectly still. It finally walked away and a few seconds later some people came up the trail near the pool. It felt like reality melted away for that moment before those people broke the spell. Right when they arrived I heard a tiny voice in my head say, “See? It pays to be still.”

Being still has been probably the hardest thing I’ve had to go through during this art hiatus.

A couple weeks after the Sculpture Park, I went on another spiritual retreat. This was the third time I’ve gone in the past eight months, and every time just before I leave for it, God sends me a message on what I should focus on while there. Just before I left, the author of the “Dare To Ask” book, Simcha Natan, who I’ve mentioned numerous times in my posts, had posted the following. It was the first thing I saw on my Facebook feed minutes before leaving, so I knew it was meant for me to focus on for the weekend retreat.

“So chill!! We are destined for eternity, and what he’s placed in our hearts doesn’t end or run dry. Sometimes we need to take a breath and chill. We don’t have to strive for our gifts and passions to all be in play TODAY. They’re there for an eternal reason – God will see that nothing is wasted. So chill! Shabbat Shalom”

Chilling at RetreatI went to the retreat with this in mind, and although I still read and did things to help me on this spiritual journey, it turned out “chilling” was more difficult to do than I had thought. All this ties back to what I said above.

(pictured: me attempting to chill.)

Being still has been probably the hardest thing I’ve had to go through during this art hiatus.

I am just not good at it. at. all.

Next month is the one year anniversary of my art hiatus, so the next post will tie into all of that. Thanks for reading!

TL;DR: Todd went to the Sculpture Park and shared a moment with a deer, then went on another spiritual retreat where God told him to chill. This proved to be difficult to Todd. He also explained the meaning of life in a 32 page thesis written in crayon, but the deer ate it.

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