Sunday mornings are hard for me right now. With Griff, Sunday mornings were long and leisurely, a delicious stretch of time spent together in bed. I woke this Sunday missing Griff like crazy. I just wanted to feel his body curled up behind mine, feel his arms around me, feel his breath in my hair. I can torture myself thinking of moments like these.
It’s then that I need a reminder to look at things as they are. I think of my friend Elaine, who is an artist, and who recently ran a small workshop for a group of us to teach us how to paint. “The most important thing you have to do when sketching,” she cautioned, “is to see the object exactly as it is, not as you think it is.” Good advice, and not just for hapless beginning artists like me, who haven’t any idea how to create a still life in acrylic.
When I start to feel really sad about my break up, I need to remember to see my relationship with Griff as it was, not as I wanted it to be. I tend to think about all the good things – the long mornings in bed, the way I’d feel whenever I saw him, the texts he sent every day just to say “I love you” – and I want to preserve all of those memories. But I need to see the relationship clearly and remember that it had flaws. I have to remember that Griff and I could not see eye to eye at all about parenting. I need to remember how difficult those conversations were and how big that obstacle was in our lives. And I need to remember the pang I felt every time I heard about another couple taking the leap and moving in. I knew that was never going to happen with Griff.
“See things clearly,” Elaine coached us, as we carefully sketched our pieces of fruit or vegetable. As I worked on my pear, I began to notice the way the light fell on it, the patches of shadow. I could see its blemishes and surprising contours. I could see the variations in its colour. Though my painting is clearly the work of a beginner, you can see the light and the shadow and the blemishes. So that I can move on, I need to be sure to paint my relationship with Griff just as clearly and honestly.