I woke up the morning after election night and couldn’t believe my eyes. Trump won?
I wasn’t particularly excited about any of the candidates on the ballot. And I wasn’t excited about him either. But I certainly didn’t expect a win from that corner. I sat in bed, leaned back and stared at the ceiling, trying to comprehend what this meant. Because, I find him strangely disconnected and unbalanced. And that’s the nicest way I can put it. That’s not really the kind of guy I expected to see in the oval office. The news had whipped me into a momentary numbness. This world just gets curiouser and curiouser.
After adjusting to the idea for a while I decided not to decide what any of it means. Because that would make me a ‘know-it-all’ and that is certainly something I’m not. (Enter smirking husband again.) I did decide that the uncertainty of this new type of candidate would at least bring some kind of change, some kind of new, fresh opening that our country, even our fearful world, has not seen for a long time. At the very least, everything unwanted inspires clarity about what is wanted. And whether you voted for him or not, the one thing we have in common is that we all want progress and change of some sort. Because we all want to live a good life. That’s an area of common ground. That brings us together. We can discuss and be different without making each other the enemy. We can share without creating even more separation. It is possible.
But when I went on Facebook in the days following the election, that’s not what I found. I found post after post after post filled with finger pointing, anger and fear. And I just watched. Being the sensitive soul that I am, I felt over-stimulated by the banter after about 3 days. Facebook was no longer feeding me. I felt sad about what I was seeing. I wondered how I could share something on social media that would be connecting? Something that would represent that place of common ground we all seek? I’m a busy at home mom. How can I still do what I love and be a voice for change in this world? I’ll paint about it.
And so, this new collection is birthed. A Tale of a Feather. No, that’s not it. If These Wings Could Speak. Yes, with tagline… every feather holds a tale. Is that it? Yes, I think so. I was inspired when I was looking through a myriad of photos to paint after the election. I was looking at women in pretty poses, ballerinas and the likes of people I could turn into fairies and angels. That’s when I saw the one ODD picture of a man awkwardly dressed as a woman, waiting at a bus stop. I imagined him with wings on and suddenly he/she became endearing to me. I changed my search term to include alllll people and a smile spread across my face as I looked at the new set of photos before me, imagining roughians, the homeless, the street performer… all wearing angelic wings. It changed how I saw them. I could see the ME, the best of me, my very own wings, IN THEM. Common ground. That’s what I want to live and teach others to access in themselves. Now, that’s something I can paint.
So, here is my first one. A man from India. A place I am particularly drawn to. I have a lot of clothes that feel ‘India’. I like yoga and meditation. I love curry. Pretty sure if I visited a psychic they’d tell me I’ve had a past life there. But now, I live here, in America. California to be exact. Not India. And a snake charmer on the street corner isn’t anything I would normally come across. In the original photo this man appeared to be hangin’ in his jammies with a bunch of other dudes milling about, ignoring him like he was any other stump. I made him fabulous. His wings match his angelic pajamas. And he begs the question… do you hear the call of your inner serpent? And when you do, do you listen?
In many cultural traditions, snakes are seen as a symbol of healing, shedding skin that no longer serves to make room for growth. They also represent the rising kundalini energy that transmutes itself as it moves from the lower, dense vibrations towards the sun where it is bathed in light. Being sensitive to it’s environment, this creature has incredible ability to respond to and move through it’s environment and stay in alignment with it’s own needs.