Connecting the moments
I'm five. It's early April, a watercolor day with the grass long and yellow from a winter under snow and the sky full of grey-blue clouds scudding along the horizon. I stand on a small rise in the back yard wearing nothing except a few of my mother's silk scarves knotted at my shoulders and waist to make a little tunic. My mother is hanging laundry, sparring with the wind that snaps the sheets from her hands as she tries to fasten them to the line with wooden clothespins. There is just a hint of warmth in the air. Light and playful, the wind asks me to dance, so I raise my arms and twirl into the breeze, the scarves fluttering against my body, lost in the pure sensation of the moment.
Im sixteen, and it's the spring after my January graduation from high school. I've driven to the country instead of going to the college art class I signed up for. I feel guilty about skipping class, and upset that I have been doing this on a regular basis, unable to explain it to myself and afraid to tell my parents why I feel so awkward in a college class. I kick my way through the needles on the pine forest floor, pondering my plight and my uncertain future. Suddenly, I find that I've come out into the open at the top of a sweeping, grassy hill. The sun is shining through intermittent puffy clouds, a hawk glides across the sky, and my heart starts to lighten. I lie down in the grass and close my eyes, feeling the coolness of the earth press its fingers into my back, loosening my tension and calming my anxiety. It happens slowly, almost imperceptibly, but I begin to sense the motion of the planet beneath me, and I am lulled into a state of perfect peace. I've found my "spot," and I know things will be just fine.
More moments through the years....climbing a Vermont mountain on a fall day when the air is sharp and the leaves burn against the acid blue sky....riding with my friends in a red VW beetle along a twisting road on the north side of St. Thomas listening to The Pretenders....holding my son for the first time and having no words to describe the feeling....silently sharing a song across the miles, separate but completely together... the first kiss with my truest love... moments here and there, then and now.
Bliss comes in moments...learning to connect those moments brings the realization of happiness.
The above illustration is acrylic, collage, and marker on paper. It is the piece I did for the February pages of Sylvia's Subconscious Dreamscapes book which is one of eight traveling artbooks for the Journeys project.