Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ponderings from the Palm Coast

Grieving is like an altered state. Reality shifts in imperceptible ways. Memories and imagination trip over each other in the mind. Four and a half months ago Walt died. I still can't believe it when I type that sentence. I still hold out hope that he will be coming home any day now. 

Last night I dreamt that I spotted Walt in a crowd of people. I called out to him, he turned around and told me, "It's over." and then he started to run into the crowd. I panicked and ran after him. I continually lost and found him until I realized that he didn't want me to catch up to him. I stopped & I woke up. I felt very sad, depleted & empty.

       


I have been traveling a lot these past few months. Traveling helps me to stay present and live in the moment. When the comfort of our quotidian lives are stripped away we are forced to stay sharp and notice more around us. This focus keeps me feeling connected to the earth and the landscape. The landscape is where I draw my life force from. This connection is where the paintings come from. Walt knew this about me and now walks with me in the various landscapes I find myself, particularly beside the ocean, I feel his presence everywhere. 


What is it about Walt that I miss so much? His companionship, his wise council, his patience, and his enthusiasm for art and life. Walt inspired me to be all that I was, he inspired me to evolve into a better human being and make the greatest art I could. He did all this without saying a word rather he encouraged me to unfold in my own unique way by holding a sacred space for me to become. He never wanted me to be anything other then who I was. He gave me the room I needed to move through space and time fully and completely as myself. Walt didn't do this just for me but for every human being he encountered. Walt was an old soul, his deep brown eyes with their penetrating gaze told me so. We often spoke of how long it had taken us to find each other. He spoke of searching for me for thousands of years and I used to laugh at this idea. Now I am not so sure and I hope that we will be able to find each other once again in the vast eternities of the universe. However what is time when compared to the ancient rhythms of the ocean.



The breathing of the ocean is soul soothing. The waves come in and the waves go out. The tides flow in rhythm with the moon. Every minute the view changes in colors, shadows and textures. The patterns in the sea foam shift, the light sparkles and plays with the salty sea. The wide open space allows my being to expand and soar. Sometimes I become the sea, sometimes the sky.


I am listening. I sit or walk by the ocean every day and she whispers and roars her ancient sounds to my grieving soul. Sometimes I take notes of these sounds in watercolor sketches.

I read, I walk, I float, I think, I feel, I breathe.


Life has been unalterably changed for me with the loss of Walt. 
His presence lives on in the great beautiful mystery.

               

Where do we go when we die? 
When will I see you again?
What is it like on the other side?


Walt and I were both fond of the following words from Rainer Maria Rilke and they remain pinned to the studio wall beside Walt's photo:

"...try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”