The Birthday of the World

Here is my first painting of the year.
It is named for the first baby born in the States – “Nathan” weighed 7lbs, 11oz. and was born in Flushing Hospital – Queens, NY.

caseymatthews_queensbaby_60x36_commissionCasey Matthews  “Queens Baby” (60×36)

I know everyone was ready to move past 2016, and welcome a new year.  The election was tough; it really brought out the worst in everyone.  The world is a sad place and it is disheartening to live in a world that is so black and white; so polarizing. In times like this, it is better for me to retreat inward and take care of things closer to my heart:  My home, my family, my relationships, my art career – rather than obsess over things that I don’t understand on a global or emotional level.

Oddly enough, personal-wise, I had a great year. It was my most successful year as a professional artist.  I worked my ass off, and felt like I have learned a lot about myself as an artist and business person. I’m always present and thankful; I try to keep an open mind about learning new things, and allowing new experiences into my life.
– I also celebrated 10 years with my man last year.  We have been spending a lot of time nesting.  We are remodeling our kitchen, and spending money and time on our home; redecorating a little.
– I am moving my studio this month.  It is a very scary, and a large financial move for me – but there is nothing like the threat of poverty to light the fire under my ass and make things work!  I embrace the challenge and hard work ahead of me.
– With a heavy heart, I mentally let go of a huge toxic relationship in my life this past year.  It is still very sad and hard to explain, without seeming so cold and unforgiving – but I’m at peace with my decision. I feel like my life is going really well right now, and I don’t want anyone making me feel bad about myself. Some people just cannot be happy, and can’t help to bring others down; they are incapable of love, and find comfort in their angry, miserable existence.  You just can’t force relationships on people, and it is OK to say good-bye.

I ran across this timely poem this week and wanted to share:

The Birthday of the World
On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding
of my perennially damaged
psyche, shoring up eroding
friendships, digging out
stumps of old resentments
that refuse to rot on their own.
No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition?
How much have I put
on the line for freedom?
For mine and others?
As these freedoms are pared,
sliced and diced, where
have I spoken out? Who
have I tried to move? In
this holy season, I stand
self-convicted of sloth
in a time when lies choke
the mind and rhetoric
bends reason to slithering
choking pythons. Here
I stand before the gates
opening, the fire dazzling
my eyes, and as I approach
what judges me, I judge
myself. Give me weapons
of minute destruction. Let
my words turn into sparks.

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