“Imagine something lovely”, the nurse said. She could sense my anxiety.
So I imagined something lovely in nature, my source of inspiration and spiritual renewal.
“Ok”, I replied, and thought of swimming underwater in cool, green weightlessness. Before I knew it, my fear had been … washed away.
This incident happened a long time ago, but I have used this visualization many times since, because it’s so effective. Water is my medicine.
For me, the best way to be immersed in nature, is to be actually immersed. The second best way, is to make art.
We have a cabin on a lake in Ontario. One year, I spent a few weeks alone there where I had the luxury of time and space to create new work – paintings of underwater scenes. My ‘deep dive’ into my work was more than I could have imagined.
At the end of my stay, after neatly packing up my belongings and cleaning, I proceeded to go for one last swim. I dove off the dock and into the deep clear water. The sensation was like I was jumping into my painting. The feeling lasted for minutes. It was surreal.
Artists like myself most often work in isolation. Sometimes it’s ok. Sometimes it is damn lonely. But through isolation, beyond creating a saleable product, sometimes the connection you can make with your subject matter, with your materials, or with yourself, is the biggest gift of all.
I am writing this during the Covid-19 pandemic, where a lot of our country is living in physical isolation from one another. These times are uncertain. But aren’t times always uncertain?
What remains certain to me is that the earth is still spinning on its axis, orbiting the sun, floating in space, and that there is nothing quite so lovely and cleansing as swim in a cool, green lake.
Imagine something lovely . . . .
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