I used to stand on the shore in my own life. Some days, I still want to. Swimming in the river of this life is both exhilarating and heart pounding - there are moments where I want to pull the covers over my head and stop being vulnerable. And yet...the more I swim, the better I am at swimming. The more I swim, the more confident I become in my own courage. And the more I swim, the less I think about all the things on the shore that once kept me from going in the water. One day, I will become the water. And then I'll be afraid no more.
About the art: inspired by the shape and color of the rusty steel wreck, but lightly abstracted. Using the requisite 80 million layers of paint, a rubber wedge and a variety of brushes, keeping the paint wet with a spray bottle and allowing it to move. Liberal use of fingers and paper towels.
I've been contemplating the experience of existence. And how very much of that experience is controlled by my thoughts about it. And my pre-worries and disaster-labeling of things. These are struggles we all have, I imagine. But what I'd rather be imagining is a much calmer, more joy-filled existence.
Which I actually have.
So when the Mark Twain quote appeared in my day, I thought WHOA. A great many of my troubles have never happened. Remember the time the water heater surely was kaput and the replacement cost was out of reach? Um, oh yes, that never happened. The water heater had a blip, and then it was fine for years and years. Remember when I thought I had completely failed at motherhood and ruined my kids forever? Um, that didn't happen, either. The kids are now outstanding and successful adult humans with big hearts that make me smile.
And so I find myself wondering..could I, maybe possibly, catch those rascally thought-rabbits before I turn them into dragons? Hmmmmmm.
(many thanks to reader, poet and friend Mary C. for suggesting the name of the whimsical girl in this piece. I believe her namesake is an actual dragon-slayer in the modern world.)
As the days shorten and the skies become gray and wet, I become a bit introspective. Poking at things, examining their edges and gently, tenderly deciding if those things (thoughts, feelings, beliefs) are treasures to cherish, wounds to heal or heavy stones to set down somewhere. And so each one gets placed on the altar of my heart, to be covered in love and then released.
I learned recently of CO2 recapture technology that injects carbon emissions into basalt rock, where it is safely held. I wonder if I can leave all the heavy stones found in my internal meanderings at the base of the basalt towers we climb on hikes?. Hmmmmmm. It's against the rules of the wilderness to leave things behind...
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation