Thursday, October 6, 2011

Live a Life You Love.........

The idea for this post came before hearing yesterday that Steve Jobs had lost his long battle with cancer. He was only 56 and his contributions and legacy will live on, but his passing is a strong reminder of how precious life is and how important it is to live a life we love. The basic premise of his commencement address at Stanford in 2005 said it all - "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."

So how is this related to what I want to share today? What it boils down to is I had more time to "think and be"  in the month of September than I have had in a long time. The intense pressure I put on myself while getting ready for my gallery show gave me little time to eat, much less reflect and ponder.

Initially I was very uncomfortable with the time I had on my hands once the show was hung. Now what? All summer I had direction, purpose and a strict deadline - all of which was now gone.

My knee jerk reaction is to get busy with something else, but I felt overwhelmed by my options. Luckily, I didn't have to sit with that dilemma very long because my husband and I had plans to go to the coast to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and my daughter was coming home for a couple of weeks as well.

So, after the opening reception and open studios (all on the same weekend), I pretty much took the rest of the month off and it felt great.

My husband and I spent a few days in Jenner, CA which is where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. In this small town, cell phone service is basically non-existent, and forget about wi-fi.  This adds up to the perfect recipe for one of two things: a panic attack at the thought of being disconnected from the rest of the world or a chance to embrace the opportunity to connect with the person that bore the brunt of my animated outbursts of doubt and fear in the days leading up to the show.

Guess what I chose? Besides kayaking in the fog with my husband (and loving every minute of that), I was reminded that I have an extremely awesome life, something I forget when my life gets too busy. The deep quiet I experienced that weekend was just what my soul (and my marriage) needed. Having the ability to photograph from the deck of our room on the Russian River was just icing on the cake.

2011 Dianne Poinski (Russian River - morning)

I am grateful to Steve Jobs for his vision, but during a time when I had no way to use any of his inventions, I found myself filling up with peace, gratitude and the understanding that life is meant to be enjoyed and lived to to the fullest. We all know this on some level, but it helps to be reminded. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes the loss of someone young, passionate and brave to help us remember........ and that is what happened yesterday.

2011 Dianne Poinski (Russian River looking west - sunset)

I would like to end with this passage from that Stanford commencement speech:

"......You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle......." Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011

If you have never seen or read the transcript of his talk, click here: Stanford  It's a very powerful and touching speech.

I would also like to dedicate this post to Sylvie Wheatley, who passed away this summer at a young age as well. She was a student of mine, but I felt like we became friends. She would visit the studio with her husband Bob, and their joy and excitement for life filled the room. Again, a reminder that life is short. There is no time to worry about the little things. As the popular saying goes........"Live, Laugh, Love"........


  1. I've learned that life is short...enjoy each with people you love, love the people you're creative if that's what you want. But most of all-savor the simple AND complex things. Thanks for the reminder Dianne!

  2. Thank you Betsy! Great suggestions!

  3. Congratulations on the show and the open house and on finding and cherishing some peaceful moments!

    Breathtaking photos too.

  4. very evocative sound pictures,ilove this art...!*