Warm summer evenings. The sound of distant locusts. The setting sun warms my face. A lingering hint of cool air catches my hair and peace grows in my soul. – JAM
Water, words, books, friends, stories, The Storyteller. I want to float on the water and listen to the stories she tells.
Often I find inspiration in other people’s words. Today my inspiration comes from a book, “I Am Her Tribe”, by Danielle Doby.
This book isn’t for everyone, it can be difficult to read. Doby writes from her heart what has been experienced through recovery. The phrase I selected today comes on page 27, “The flowers in your eyes wilting one by one the dropping to the floor.” Love those words. I have seen it so many times in the flat gaze of women young and old who have experienced too much, and are tired of being tired.
Like so many others I find myself with more time to think this year. More time to think, to appreciate, to ponder , question, understand.
Last week I was reading about natural elements. The concept goes back much further than I had realized, and perhaps it was Aristotle who first named the four basic elements. There is some interesting discussion on various Greek philosophies, for a quick refresher, and some fun experiments check out: Home Science Tools.
I digress, another symptom associated with increased isolation.
Today’s offering is a small collection representing personification of these four elements. Earth (which I call Terra), Wind (they call the wind Mariah), Water (Acqua) and Fire (I have named her Blaze).
Each of us have had to find our path through this Covid outbreak. Some say it is behind us, others say the worst is yet to come. Each of us have had to journey through our heartbreaks, fears, losses, inconveniences, financial setbacks, and isolation.
For many of us who practice art, our journey is reflected there. I decided to share my journey, through my art.
As we watched the Covid spread through Europe, cancel our travel plans and begin covering New York City, it felt like a storm of indeterminable size was on the horizon.
We had plans to spend three months in Europe, leaving April 1. As the date approached, I scrambled first to reschedule, then to reclaim what costs I could.
Soon it was clear that everything had changed. We wanted to run away. Find a place where things would be normal, where we could play and have fun. But it wasn’t to be. It was just the two of us in a small apartment and a balcony shared with a family of House Finches and eventually some Hummingbirds.
Eventually life goes on, it became necessary to leave the safety of our isolation and continue a few normal activities, such as getting groceries and checking on the parents. It was time to slowly emerge from our shelter and face the unknown, while hoping better days would emerge from the ashes of our previous life.
We have since found a respectful peace with this virus. We remain cautious, wear a mask to protect ourselves and others, and seek opportunities to encourage those we encounter. So many have lost so much. If feels as if time has warped and placed a kink in the linear path our world was travelling. Our futures will all hold something different as a result of this experience shared worldwide. Somehow, we must find our peace.
I am grateful for my partner that has made this time tolerable, I have gained a better appreciation for the freedoms we so carelessly shared. My heart is open to those who have lost so much, and I give thanks for each new day.
Though it is small, I am also grateful that my art has stood beside me, coaxing me to find my peace.
As this pandemic continues, I watch the birds at the feeder flying freely from place to place. It is then that I realize that I am the one in the cage.
Do you ever get tired of carrying around all that baggage? Where does it come from? Well, some comes from our childhood. The well-intended corrections of our parents later become the bulky reminders we carry for life. And what about those personal expectations – the perfect house the perfect life that we post on Instagram.
Then there is the trunk I carry around. Stuff I have picked up along the way. Willingly, I carry around the weight of my self-imposed self-improvements. How heavy that baggage becomes.
Maybe it is time to Leave It All Behind.
A special thank you to my model, Marissa.
We have all been there. Those times when our life is dark and we aren’t sure how to find our way out. It is during those times that we find our determination, locate those keys to change our lives, rediscover hope, and begin to sew a new fabric. Here is to the struggle and to the character it builds within us.
I am a sinner, regardless of my intentions, sometimes I fall. To be honest, it doesn’t take me by surprise. I sense the warnings but am too proud to reach for the handrails. I’ve got this. I don’t need help.
Then it happens, I fall.
Confidently, I ask again for forgiveness, knowing He will send his guardians to my rescue. He is always there to Catch Me When I Fall.