Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gratitude in Autumn

Accept What Comes from the Silence / 24" x 30" / acrylic on canvas
At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost. ~Rainer Maria Rilke~

Cascade Forest / 24" x 30" / acrylic on canvas
This has been an extraordinary summer for the artist/gypsy in me. I have never felt so close to the bone of my soul life. I have traveled extensively, inside and out for the past five months. A journey that has peeled away the unnecessary and revealed the essence and interconnectedness of many places, people and things. 

Ten years ago my life was so confused and muddled I didn't think I would ever see clearly again. Today the waters have stilled and are crystal clear. My inner vision is
razor sharp as I perceive things through texture, shape and color. A language whose fluency has evolved through painting and become more meaningful than words.

When I was younger I never thought about the changes that would come with growing older.
I always thought I would just be an older version of the young person I was. It was impossible to know how much things evolve and transform from within and without. 

There is an Autumn to our lives and it is my favorite season so I am going to enjoy my Autumn fully. There is a slowing down of energies, a deepening of colors, a ripe fullness to everything as it prepares for Winter. A few days ago I did a solo hike to the top of an Adirondack mountain and stood alone on the rock, high above a vast sea of autumnal forests. The late afternoon light painted everything gold with long dark shadows enhancing the beauty everywhere. 

I find myself in a time of long, dark shadows and am grateful for the golden light that I discover in between the shadows. As I was climbing I couldn't identify the feeling inside me. It was painful and sad but exhilarating at the same time. Then I realized what it was, it was GRATITUDE.  
An overwhelming sense of gratitude for being alive in this very moment.
This is the thing about growing older: 
My heart aches with gratitude for the beauty of it all.

 And at the same time my heart aches for all those who cannot be on top of this mountain today. I want to climb the mountains for those who are hungry or cold, ill or heart broken.  For we are always only a breath away from these long dark shadows entering our own lives. This is part of the human condition and it is both terrifying and beautiful to live in the present moment while remaining open and vulnerable to all that is.

The journey continues and I hope that I can remain open, accepting and grateful of my life as it unfolds before me but also, like a river, constantly surprised by it's own unfolding.

Wishing you all a joyous Canadian Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, beauty and Love. 

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