April 21, 2016
I was moved to paint my experiences from a cancer retreat at Harmony Hill. The graphic style of this painting is not my usual style. I wanted to convey the feeling of a mosaic, each of our separate lives coming together to make a whole; a collage of our separate experiences, together in one gathering place. Each element represents a person there. We were brought to Harmony Hill, our gathering place, by the big “C”. It’s the dark, curving road we traveled, accompanied by our companions on this journey.
Chris, with her sky-blue eyes, holds space for us. Her questions provided oxygen for our discussions. She allowed the breeze to blow us where we needed to go. Cecelia, our shiny, brown rock, glows above the hill. Her aura touched us. Her bright smile illuminated each of us, making each of us brighter. Andrea is the still water. Water reflects everything around it and yet, it’s clearly its own entity. Water can be as smooth as glass, but when moved, it ripples. Its stillness belies its strength. Water cuts canyons from rock, or it can lie quietly, nourishing all that it touches. Water is life. It gives life. Noreen reflects her surroundings, as a gazing ball. Through her camera’s lens she records life, altering it to suit her keen vision. When one has a passion, an interest in life, and loved ones to share it with, one’s life is truly blessed. Find balance in life and strive to thrive. The exposed rock in the green field, is me. A mix of black and white, not pure, nor smooth; the rock appears immobile, but it has traveled from afar. It is moved by water. It’s picked up and transported by curiosity and it continues its journey.
All around us are the people who support us. Rod, my husband, is the green mown field. He spends many summer hours mowing and he thinks of it a meditation. If he didn’t keep up on the mowing, we would both disappear. Suzie is the blue-green finger of land, reaching out to Noreen and pointing toward the hill. She has a connection to the land and supports the work of Harmony Hill. Cecelia’s sister, Jessica is the earth, solidly there for her sister and the children. The sisters are made of the same material, but each has their own character and purpose in the world. The flower symbolizes Heida, Andrea’s mother. This opening lotus blossom is a symbol with many meanings, ascribed by many cultures. It’s used here as the opening of enlightenment, wisdom, wealth and love. The scale of the flower is meant to represent her presence. Last but not least, the heart-shaped leaf supporting the gazing ball is Becky. Becky buoys up her mother, Noreen, and will always carry her in her heart.
The big “C” gives one the opportunity to appreciate “time” more fully. It urges me to be mindful of what I have. I intend to use my newly found sense of time to form new habits of thankfulness and adding positives and letting go negatives. I hope to spend my energy making ripples that spread out far beyond myself. HOPE