“Jamie Fraser at the Battle of Culloden – Outlander”, oil on canvas, 380mm x 380mm
“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”… this quote has been rattling around in my mind for some weeks now. I came across the phrase in one of the Outlander books I’ve been wonderfully lost in lately. Author Diana Gabaldon assigns it to one of her characters, who is wishing to put her mind at ease and encourage the deep surrender of sleep in the face of many challenges. I assumed it belonged to some 18th century poet or philosopher, and it actually was an 18th century proverbial saying, but one that is based on Jesus’ words in his Sermon on the Mount. Here’s the full quote:
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt 6:34
If we were to translate that into modern language, it would say “be here now” or “what’s done is done” or “let it go”. Another translation I read put it this way… “unpleasant matters should be left until it becomes necessary”. I liked that one! Yet, for me, there is something completely delicious about the grammatical structure and flow of the words just as they are. They don’t sound like a platitude, nor a new-age bumper sticker; they are not unrealistic or pseudo-positive and they don’t urge us to turn ourselves into pretzels resisting what is or improving our mind-set. They simply state the obvious in a calm, undramatic manner that soothes my soul and brings me comfort each time I say them.
The other obvious attraction of this quote is that it tends to end a conversation, emanating from worry or anxiety, with lightning speed and efficiency. Boom. No more words, no need.
While the top-note meaning of this quote is really to do with living in the present and surrendering the future and past to Life, perhaps even realising that future and past don’t exist, except as concepts in our minds, I read something else that gave a deeper base-note meaning. It suggested that these words remind us Life is always giving us exactly what we need, right here, right now. And I laughed when I read that because, as I’ve been mulling the phrase over for the past weeks, I had the thought that perhaps it should read “Sufficient unto the day is the evil and blessing thereof”. I’ll get that memo off to Jesus, just as soon as I’m done here.
Often what we worry over is not what is happening, but what is not happening. So we worry over the lack of “blessing” in our lives or the lack of good stuff that’s showing up. Or perhaps we are worrying over what is happening… an illness, a time of lack or loss. Either way, if we reduce our attention down to this moment, it becomes clear that the present moment contains no suffering. It simply cannot. It may contain pain or uncomfortable feelings or perhaps things we don’t enjoy doing, but it is always the story around these conditions that causes the suffering, not the conditions themselves. In a way, this phrase can perhaps be translated as “it’s enough” – the blessings and evils both – because each day and each life contains them both.
Everything that appears for us in a day, whether our minds deem it a blessing or a curse, is unique to us. Even if it doesn’t look unique or it happens for our best friend too, our interpretation and perception will ensure that it is just that. No one can live our life, or experience our world as we do. As Mooji says, “There is one Earth, but 7 billion worlds”.
If Life is giving each of us exactly what we need in each moment to become more fully who we really are… if this were true.. how would our perception of what’s happening change? And if our perception changed, how would our experience of what’s happening be transformed? Would we be more at peace with what happens, and see it truthfully as the stuff that comes and goes, not who we are? Would we forget to worry about ideas that aren’t real, such as memories, and anxieties over a future that doesn’t exist? And would we finally fall asleep at the end of each sufficient day, surrendering like a child in the lap of God, knowing it is all unfolding perfectly right here, right now?
’Til next time, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!
The Art Shop News
Print prices down!
One of the “happenings” in my life over the last couple of months has been the streamlining and simplifying of my print processes and systems. I’ve also negotiated better prices and arrangements with my suppliers, all this resulting in lower prices on all print options – and none to shabby either – some prices have gone down by as much as 30%!
I am really so pleased with the quality of the canvas and archival paper being used for my prints, and my printers are the best!
Requests for custom sizes are welcome and you’re not limited to the sizes available through The Art Shop. Prints on both materials can be done up to a maximum size of 1.2m on the shortest edge, and additional material options include Hahnemühle and Innova Rag papers. Just email me with your ideas and requirements.
100% cotton Archival Canvas (Giclee print) finished with a matt protective coat
2 size options – approximately A4 and A3
Archival Paper Prints
Epson Matt Archival Paper
2 size options – approximately A4 and A3
R450 – R600
Epson Matt Archival Paper
Mounted/matted with bright white
One size option that accommodates the smaller size on Epson Matt Archival paper, with the mountboard measuring 510mm x 405mm/20″ x 16″
Special offer for this week
Valid until Tuesday 22nd October 2019
As this blog was inspired by Outlander and Mooji, I thought it only right to make these two portraits the focus for the weekly special.
I had requests for high resolution files on both these paintings when they were first done, and so am making them available as high res downloadable files until Tuesday 22nd October.
The upside of a download is that you save on shipping and printing costs from my end, but do make sure you take it to a good printer to get the best results. If you’d prefer to buy the finished product, you can easily do so through The Art Shop.
“Mooji” and “Jamie Fraser – Outlander”
Available as downloads for this limited time
Step 1: Click the link below the image and state your preferred method of payment in the body of the email, either Paypal (USD) or EFT (Rand) or Payfast (Either)
Step 2: I will email you an invoice for your chosen payment method
Step 3: Once I’ve received your payment, I will upload a high res file of the image to Dropbox and email you the link so you can download it at your leisure – easy!