We have to believe that if we do the very best that we can, and practice harmony with each other and with the Earth, that something larger will be served, though we may not see it….we may not see it…….Cielo Myczack (thanks to
This evening I walked home from the school, where I spent this pleasant Saturday afternoon in peaceful creative flow, painting scenery for our Alice in Wonderland play. The air was still and fresh, the first stars were twinkling, and the sky was lit with the perfect colors of a cloudless sunset; the red and gold giving way to that most glorious twilight blue only found on certain rare evenings here on this northern European island. As I walked home along the edge of the brown winter fields, I felt such joy rise up in me at the splendor of the evening, the sky huge above, the colors rich and rare, the stars bright and friendly. For a few brief minutes, I was not simply a tiny insignificant human living a somewhat frustrating existence in a foreign country far away from beloved family and friends. In that rarefied air of twilight, I felt my universality, my connection to the divine, and though they were quiet as usual, I tangibly felt the presence of benevolent beings in the spiritual world. I knew I was not alone, am in fact never alone.
Once more, Art has saved me from myself. In the past couple of days I have spent hours with fat paintbrushes in hand, mixing blue, green, black and browns on stretched and gessoed cloth, creating scenes from my imagination and memory. I painted a forest, a shoreline with the sea and stormy sky, a long hallway with doors on either side, a hillside with a large tree and a little house on a hill. Time did not matter, the sun moved across the southern sky, and the colors, paints, canvas and brushes combined to give me what I so badly needed: a different world from where I usually live, one that came to life from my own imagination.
These days I am learning to have a deeper relationship with Impermanence. Although much of my life has been about learning to let go, to change and move and have new experiences, this time now seems to be about embracing the ever-changeability of life in a more profound way than before. Time seems to have lost much of its previous status and has become much more malleable than before… memories come up which I had long forgotten, from childhood, from young adulthood, from several years ago. They come up, and I see their images again in my mind’s eye, and then they disappear again just as quickly. Life floats by my vision like the river flowing alongside the rocks where I sat on a Saturday afternoon in Oregon’s hills, Colorado’s mountains, Denmark’s countryside. My daughter was a tiny baby, a toddler, a young fresh-faced girl, running across green grass in the rain. I saw myself as a new mother, a young single woman, a teenaged girl. Teachers I knew, friends I had, music I listened to then, as I pondered life and its meaning at fifteen, seventeen, twenty one…. it has gone by, so many days, endless days, black nights, some filled with friendship or lovers, some completely alone and filled with inconsolable longing for a home, a love that I so desperately wanted to have and never could have while in this human form. Turning again and again to art, to words, to music, to dance, to dreams, to the poets, the actors, the ones who had been there ahead of me, pointing a way towards something I could follow. A way back, or a way forward, to the place from where I had come so long ago I could no longer remember that road or how to find it. Yet it still existed, only I had forgotten. Color, pattern, rhyme, rhythm, dreamscapes, twilight– were all ways to experience a glimpse of that beloved home again, if only for a little while.
There can be no doubt: Artistic endeavor has the power to heal and make whole like nothing else that humans can do. Kahlil Gibran once wrote that “Work is love made visible.” I will be so bold as to adapt his words to say, “Art is Love made visible.” The end result is, ultimately, not so important. It is in the act of creation itself that we are made whole again.