September 21, 2023
I wrote about the painting, As Within, So Without, from my perspective, late last year.
Recently, a very dear from of mine from many, many years ago reached out to me about this work, to see if it was still available.
We had a wonderfully long talk on the phone, catching up on our families, where she was, where I was, the changes in our lives over the years. And then she told me about a terrible experience she'd had as a child and young girl, that no one knew about for a very long time. For decades she didn't think about it, or deal with it, but then one day she didn't have a choice and had to do both.
What transpired after that were years of denial and a host of issues - the expected things that can happen when we finally have to face something terrible, and deal with the fallout.
Thankfully, so thankfully, she got through this awful time and is stronger, more resilient, more courageous, more determined than ever. It is amazing what challenges and difficulties can bring out in us, when we face them. No matter how long it takes us to get to the point of facing them, when we do we have the opportunity to transcend them and move beyond them. Such personal growth, such victory over darkness and pain.
At one point, she started having a recurring dream, not long before she woke up each morning. In it, she said she felt like she was coming up from underwater, from the darkness of the depths into the golden light (and yes, aren't our minds amazing in their ability to show us our lives and experiences in metaphor, in dreams?). It wasn't scary; it was beautiful and peaceful.
At some point, she saw a post I published on Facebook, about this painting. She said the hairs went up on the back of her neck - she was looking at the exact image in her dream. She had described the dream to her husband, and showed him the painting, and asked him what he thought it looked like. He said, "Your dream?"
As she's telling me this, I am getting literally choked up. Because of what she went through, that I never knew. But also because of what my work represents to her - her dream of coming up out of the darkness of this period in her life. Her strength, resilience, courage, ability to come to terms and rise above what she experienced, and move forward with her life.
And once again, I'm left stunned, humbled, and so deeply grateful for the gift I've been given to create. And in that gift, the opportunity to create something that has deep meaning to someone else in their own life.
This is why I love abstract art. This right here. Experiences like this show me that what I'm doing has value. It's so easy to say, meh, I just paint, what good does that really do for the world? How does my work really serve people? I'm not doing anything earth-shattering.
I may not be doing something that changes the whole world, but what I create may help someone change his or her own world, and that, to me, is almost more important than massive world-change. Because I am serving people on a personal, individiual level. That my work can serve as a reminder or inspiration for someone else in their own life - of a victory, a beautiful memory, a secret dream - is incredible.
Soul connections. That's what my art creates. Between my soul and others, and between a person and his or her own soul.
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November 28, 2022
March 20, 2020
If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ Dale Carnegie