Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Serenity Prayer

Serenity Prayer: Acceptance
Judy Takács


“Do everything slowly.”

That was my mantra for the excruciatingly long month of December 2015. The month of healthcare hell that included three hospital stays…two for my mom, (who, thankfully did well for another six months), and one for my dad, who, at 91 passed away peacefully.

“Do everything slowly.”

I thought of this mantra myself. It is decidedly different from “slow down!”  To me, “slow down” de-values and tries to correct what you’re doing. It’s an annoying platitude, chanted by the cloyingly unflappable, for whom everything always seems to work out.

No, “Do everything slowly” is a positive action, a procedure with instructions, an artful dance with grace, observation, thought and dutiful acceptance of a job to be done, at its very core.

“Do everything slowly” allowed me to control my process of letting go of control… it was a Serenity Prayer of sorts.

We all know “The Serenity Prayer”…even if you didn’t hear it at an AA meeting. I was reminded of it again, when we chose this verse for the prayer cards at my dad’s funeral. It seemed fitting to his calm demeanor in life, and to our surprise at the elegance and timing of the events leading to his death.


“God, grant me the serenity to 
accept the things I cannot change;

The courage to change the things I can;

And the wisdom to know the difference”



My excruciatingly long month of healthcare hell and the logistical ping-pong of how it all played out with two parents in the hospital…and then one in the grave…showed me the “serenity to accept the things I cannot change” part in graphic detail. The conflagration of healthcare hell was one of the things I could not change.

I did, however, control what I could and took to the canvas whenever a break in the daily healthcare/funeral/administrative business presented itself.

The beekeeper paintings had been working themselves around in my head for months now…and it was time to put brush to canvas. My talented muse, jewelry artist, Kim Mettee obliged and wore the beekeeper protective netting and I was presented with the challenge of creating a painting where I couldn’t rely on a face to pull it together. Instead I had to focus my attention on the hands, the pose and the specifics of the mesh netting.

I added the bees, and the concept of controlling what I could amid a conflagration of painful confusion…came together profoundly. So profoundly, that I worked on two paintings based on this subject simultaneously.

The second painting, Serenity Prayer is below, and was selected by curator Alia El-Bermani to be included in Sight Unseen, a  Poets/Artists Magazine exhibit at the Abend Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Happy to say she found her forever home with a loving collector.

The show is over, but you can still purchase the beautiful catalog!



Serenity Prayer, Judy Takács