And now to the quote, which leapt out at me from an online essay. I've been spending some time contemplating past wounds and how they can create a space of fear, hesitation and guardedness. On the one hand, this is an instinctive protective measure when we've been hurt (for example, stoves are hot! Don't touch, silly!) But when the heart has been hurt (my heart, in this case), that same instinct can find us hiding in a space of isolation and withdrawal rather than a wild, brave existence in a swashbuckling world of trust in our own resilience and in the basic goodness of the universe. The quote put a spotlight for me on something else that I hadn't considered - the "glass of our past" can also hurt others, taking that pain and bringing it forward and casting it out into the world again. Whoa, Nellie! Something to noodle on as I polish my scabbard and prepare for a renewed effort at swashbuckling. :)
When I think of all the new ways of doing things we've all developed in the last six months or so, my mind is a bit gobsmacked. I mean, how many things CAN I have delivered instead of going to the store? And how many new paths have I walked to find the road less traveled and thus less populated with potential COVID carriers? What about how we have begun to utilize technology for socializing in a serious way? Or how we've developed NASA caliber questionnaires to determine if another human can come into our personal bubbles? And dating in a COVID world is a particular maze of brain challenge that I get lost in and meander through. Send cookies and tea.
I'm thinking we are all going to have the healthiest brains in the history of brains. And if I keep thinking like that, the art just might get even more peculiar as this pandemic rolls on. :)
About the art:: I have a small collection of work by local artist Christopher St. John. So if you spend a little time with his incredible ceramic pieces, you begin to imagine most animals with human-ish faces. And so this rabbit seems to have a whimsical girl trapped inside. Or a whimsical girl has been cursed (or blessed?) by a magician and turned into a hare. Either way, it's a lot of paint on a piece of wood panel.
About the art: this one was a journey, heavily influenced by the odd light of a sun straining through smoke-choked skies, painting in rooms with eerie glows and haze. Acrylic on wood panel which had been pre-gesso'd to an ultra smooth finish. The requisite 80 million layers are included in this piece.
It just made sense that a quote about rain soothing fire would pop into my world this week. And whenever it is Mark Nepo, well you know I listen extra closely.
So many of us are intent on living right now. Living through some of the most challenging times in our lives. Which, if you have a deep wound (or two or ten) from the past, may just trigger those buggers and have you dealing with more than one VERY BIG THING. But Nepo shines a light right on the silver lining there - when we bring out our inner fire it transforms into an ability to love like rain. A love based in the light and truth of vulnerability and openness. And I've been lucky enough to witness this recently - stellar souls reaching deep and bringing out the fire. I find myself awed, inspired and contemplating how to love like rain.
About the art - Beginning with small wood panels gesso'd in black and using either myself or scribbled figures as models (whatever works during a pandemic, right?) and then building many layers of color with acrylic paint. Each one has a story and a message for the viewer. For more details, head over to Artistic Souls Gallery on Facebook, or drop a line to me via email. If you're new to Facebook auctions and would like more info on how to participate, let me know - we can swim those waters together. :)
But truly, Vonnegut is saying something important here. Hanging on to softness, sweetness and a belief in something wonderful - maybe this is our primary purpose when the world is pushing us to become hardened and bitter and filled with hate. Even our own limbic systems (I think of them as a 3 year old chimpanzees who were somehow mistakenly left in charge of our human bodies) need the reassurance of softness and sweetness in our thoughts to keep us from becoming internally weary, inflamed, hyper-vigilant and over-producing cortisol in a steamy bath of stress hormones.
So today, let's be the ducks. Well maybe not THESE ducks. They look a little put out by the lack of rain.
Well, for sure! We could...make friends, make an effort, make a joyful noise, make hay while the sun is shining, make up after a disagreement, make love, make amends, make room, make the best of a bad day, make nice, make do, make an entrance, make believe...it seems that "making" is a powerful thing, and not just when baking a pie (though I do now truly want a slice).
Let's go make the world brighter today. And if you're making pie, well, you know who wants the first piece. :)
A visual history of the painting...
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation