How Quickly Does the Good Come?

My husband and I live with two different ways and speeds of arriving.

We have a dog, Seamus, and a cat, Moses. Seamus is a Sheltie with all the energy and enthusiasm of the breed. Moses is a long-haired cat with a full appreciation for his regal (in his mind) standing. They are different. They are ours.

sheltie running after an orange soccer ball

Seamus has learned that when Dick is away from home he usually calls before he heads back to our place. From that moment Seamus is on alert. When I announce “Dick is home,” he explodes with realized anticipation. If he is in another room he comes running, his claws scrabbling to gain a purchase on our living room floor as he rounds the corner. At the door he jumps up and down like a pogo stick. As soon as Dick turns off his vehicle, I release Seamus. He runs to the driver’s side and jumps up and down until Dick gets out and celebrates with him. Seamus is all in and he goes all out in his joyful and exuberant welcome.

cat with his front leg over cat bed

And then there’s Moses. When I come home, he will raise his head from wherever he has settled in, cock an eyebrow, and consider his options. He arises, he stretches, he looks, he deigns to descend. He walks in stately fashion to me, tail up in friendly greeting. He then follows me around as I traverse the house. I pet him frequently. If I pause in my travels, he lays down right behind my feet. I have learned to look down before I take a step. Moses is not flashy, but he is loyal.

Seamus is fast and exuberant. Moses is slow and steady. They both come. They come.

So it is with a lot in my art-creating life.

Good news can arrive at the speed of an email – yes, you are accepted to _______________.  Or, you get a phone call that you have received an award, or sold a painting at a particular show. Zip. Zoom. Yippee.

But it’s taken years. Yes, it has.

painting of moose with award

“Your painting won an award.” Unexpected (fast.)  “Your work is really good.” Earned (slow.)

The process of painting can go both ways. Sometimes it’s better than I imagined. Just the way the washes of color blend and mix. The luminosity of it. But sometimes the good is deferred. Nice try, but I need to take another go at it.

So it is in art, so in life. What is it they say about art imitating life? Or is it the other way around? Either way, they both teach us.

Sometimes the good arrives in a hurry or all at once. Sometimes it can seem that it’s taking way too long. Hope deferred.

But the good does come. It comes.