In an Australian photographer and filmmaker, Hailey Bartholomew’s
documentary, “365 Grateful,” you will find blessings. This, of course,
is referring to there being 365 days or chances to show your gratitude.
You will start to believe in possibilities and living on the ‘sunny side of life.’
A woman inspired by Hailey, named Lori Portka, embarked on her own
project, “A Hundred Thank-You’s.”
Do you see how this ripple effect can keep on going?
Lori Portka had not been painting since she was younger.
She was in tenth grade when a personal tragedy struck.
She gave up her love of art and beauty, in ‘one fell swoop.’
By viewing Hailey’s documentary, something loosened up inside her.
This moving and visceral film helped to put her back on a better path.
She chose to put her hidden and deeply rooted sorrow to better use.
To think she had quit her passion, back in her 15th year of life, to carry
around her anger, denial, hurt, and pain is so sad, to me. Her refusal to
experience true happiness until her thirties made her original loss, deeper
Actions speak louder than words. Such ‘trite’ words, but they can make
you decide that there is more to life than mourning.
‘You are alive,’ Lori finally felt.
She started to take delight in her favorite parts of her daily routines.
She was inspired by nature, yoga, traveling, animals and friends.
She had not pursued art as her primary focus, in going to museums or
any other attachments to it.
Those were of her past life.
Lori had obliterated all of it from her life.
What started her thinking about her own way of handling being grateful,
was to decide she would paint, create and give 100 art pieces away.
This project became her motivation to engage in life, art and spreading
happiness to those who she wished to ‘thank.’
The ones who had ‘touched her life in a beautiful way,’ received their own
unexpected joyful gift back.
Lori Portka can be found at LoriPortka.com,
Listen to these words from a changed woman,
“I feel like I am on the right path, doing what I am supposed to do.
Art feels like home to me.”
Consider finding your bliss, spreading it around by engaging some lucky
participants in your activity or ‘craft,’ and discover how the gifts come
back to you, in unexpected ways.
Lori was a former counselor and educator, she became a fine artist.
One who had stopped painting due to that particular, personal loss.
You may feel inspired by the film, or Lori’s thank you project, or some
other impetus, that will get you started.
Feeling again, enjoying simple things that sometimes are more meaningful
when you realize, in one moment, your ability to carry out those tasks,
could be swept away.
Loir’s art now pours forth, boldly expressing her joy. Each image is filled
with saturated pastels, paints, chalks and inks. The bursts of color and
vibrant patterns remind me of several artists. But to compare to others,
sometimes is not a necessary part of feeling the emotions rendered by
the artist. It sometimes, in my mind, takes away the individuality of each
artist’s heart and soul.
Lori Portka’s quote for the day can become yours:
“I make artwork that is a reflection of gratitude and joy to the world.”
What is your passion or how do you find your ‘bliss?’
Will sharing it broaden and expand your life and horizons?
Will it bring happiness to someone else?