Blog written by Vala Hudspeth
I came to Thursday night’s Open Studio with the thought of “Amor Fati” uppermost on my mind. It was a concept I had just heard about. Coined by Nietzsche, it meant loving one’s own fate completely, unconditionally, totally embracing every aspect—it was way beyond mere acceptance.
Earlier that evening my husband and I had an argument about an important topic and I was upset, mad and sad. Wanting to put “Amor Fati” into practice but having no idea how to do it, I decided to work through my agitation by writing the two words over and over again in an artistic way onto my drawing paper.
Cyndi arrived in class and gave me a book she’d been carrying around for some time. Called Zen Doodling it was filled with lovely designs. I opened a page at random and saw an inviting image that was full of swoops, curves and curlicues and looked vaguely like a fancy tree. I adopted it as a template for my acrylic painting.
Meantime, Rachelle was working on her altered book, sculpting and carving into a big tome. Cyndi continued with her series of fanciful collations based on recent dreams.
My work progressed in a series of swirls and large dots. I came to a satisfying stopping point early and went outside to draw sustenance from the gorgeous wall of mandalas that had been curated by Sue and completed only a couple of weeks ago by many enthusiastic painters.
Back inside around the drawing table we three participants closed by sharing our thoughts and experience. I saw that I had indeed written the phrase Amor Fati—not in so many words, but as a painting of an ornate tree. Rachelle smiled and held up a piece of her fancy project which happened to be a verdant tree. Cyndi asked me to write the words Amor Fati that she attached to her blossoming work.
The strange thing was that we three had been working individually, concentrating on our own project yet somehow common energies had subtly moved through our work, organically influencing and enhancing the total experience.
Still feeling as though floating in a different zone, at eight o’clock I walked to my bus stop at the corner of Lee Hill and Broadway. In the distance I saw a man walking a large dog who was approaching me. I felt a bit apprehensive because I am somewhat afraid of large dogs. As the man passed me the dog stopped and looked at me with his big soulful eyes. The dog’s collar had “Bruce” written on it in big block letters.
“Oh, what a nice dog,” I said to the man. “Bruce is my husband’s name.”
“Does your husband look like my dog?”
“A little bit,” I replied.
“Then he must be a really good-looking guy.”
I smiled. Indeed he is.