Chickenblog, and my Instagram are happy places... I cannot deny that I have a beautiful life, that I focus my attention and what I share on the best aspects of my life. If keeping it real means anything, if you find any of this a little too shiny, rest assured... we have heartache, challenges, setbacks, and worries, we have been battling very real upsets and anguish. Like the subjects I paint, I think I need my social media to be as far removed from the whole picture as possible. Too much news, too much time immersed in every crisis, flattens me. If I am not careful, I get pulled too low, become ineffectual, despondent. Do I feel apologetic for this quality, for the way my empathy can deplete me utterly? Yes... which is equally discouraging, and essentially pointless to linger on. Nonetheless... I am sorry. I am sorry for the suffering in the world, the injustice, the hateful words and cruel deeds, I am sorry for the loneliness, and struggles. And to survive, to carry on, and in hopes of being a source of comfort and encouragement... I will keep looking at the sky, planting the garden, sharing recipes, packing lunches, washing socks, listening, holding space, keeping hope, shining light.