Home...Thank you, Celtic Spirituality, for the lens you provide.
“At your command all things came to be…this fragile earth, our island home.”
Eucharistic Prayer C, Book of Common Prayer.
Tonya, my art teacher has been asking our class members to look inside ourselves for deeper realities. It has challenged me greatly this year as I have commented in other blogs. This week we were asked what makes us feel like we are home. It may be a food, a place, a feeling, a smell: paint it. For a long time, I sat trying to come up with something. Not a thing came to me.
Next to me a woman made a circle in the lower corner of the page, turned it into the earth and rocketed off into the space on the rest of the page. To my right a church was filling the page. I began to get upset and considered just painting anything or leaving. It was upsetting not to have a home. Then it occurred to me that home, as a military wife, was where I hung up the curtains.
Once I had the window with cheerful curtains in the center of the page, I was able to begin to ponder home. The diagonal lines provided space to be specific in my thinking. Home is not where I grew up. Home is not a place. Home is not a memory. Home doesn’t have a specific smell or color.
The Ocean: When I was a child, whenever we had a lasting cough or cold, we would get in the car and go to the ocean and walk on the beach to breathe in the salt air and get well. The whooping cough year it was so cold we just rolled down the windows, grabbed a gulp of air and drove home again. Eventually the ocean and the open sky took on a spiritual meaning I cannot describe in words. I promised myself an annual trip to the ocean when we retired in Colorado. Unfortunately, COVID ended that.
The southwest dessert: Why is it that when I am there, I feel like I may have lived there in another life?
Trees: The smell of pines. The reds and oranges of Autumn. The rustle of dry leaves under my feet. Apple trees. Abundance. Longevity.
I spent a restless night the day I painted this. I worried about why I don’t have a home; a base to refer to; an anchor. It isn’t where I grew up. It doesn’t seem to be anywhere. I do not have a home!
Contemplating the painting now I wish I had had more time. I would have put thorns on the cactus. The Saguaro would be blooming with white flowers on top; the Prickly Pear would have a brilliant flower. Seashells would be scattered on the beach and there would be fall leaves, under the trees, to kick and crunch. There would be a plant on the windowsill. Thankfully there is not to obscure my view.
Now my eye does not st