Friday, November 30, 2007

Life Cycle

Life Cycle
Image Size 7.75" x 8.25"
Paper Size 10.25" x 11"
Watercolors on 300# Strathmore watercolor paper

We begin our lives, curled and tiny. After our birth, we fill our space on earth, beginning with being a small child, unable to walk, but still looking up to those who have passed this way before. As we continue our growth, we look up and reach out for strength, for knowledge, for guidance, for love, for others-for all the things we need to sustain us during our journey.
We reach our full height, straining in our reach for understanding of the mysteries of life, the spirit, and the universe, for others to embrace and share in our journey, to live in joy and in peace, secure.
As the years roll by, our strength and power becomes weaker as we become shrunken in our stature and our abilities. We reach out, weakly, still searching for powers and answers, for help with the rest of our life, and others to share with. There is still hope for life, but it is elusive.
Our bodies become stiffened and we stretch out alone, open to the universe. We wrap ourselves and wait, for that thing which we still do not understand.
We curl up unto ourselves and become one with the earth. Hidden from everyone. The body and powers, the eyes that could see, the voices that once sang and talked, the skin that we lovingly cared for, turning to leather and powder, until they are no more than the earth.
Above us shines a star, beckoning still, as it has all through our cycle of life. The sun and moon still shine for the next person, the next generation, promising hope and answers, power and life.
An angel rises from the earth and moves toward the heavens. Will she stay and guide the next generation? Will she protect the remains in the earth? Or possibly carry that one to Heaven? Or will she move on, to finally know all the answers and find what she had been reaching for all during the life cycle? Will she float silently? Will she dance and sing with joy? Will she hover closely to the earth and to those who remain to go through their own life cycle?
"Life Cycle" was painted on 300# Strathmore watercolor paper, using a limited palette of blue and brown, with a touch of purple and yellow.
I wish.
I wish I had taken a picture of his hand while he was drawing or while he painted. I wish that I had thought to exchange art work with him. I wish that I had taken time to talk with him more about his art. I wish that he had been able to spend more time creating his own art work, participating in art activities, and developing as an artist. I wish that he would have been able to make a good living as an artist and spent a peaceful, yet interesting, life working with his talent, for himself, for those who come after him, for posterity to appreciate.
Above all, I wish that he could have lived longer. That he could have been as strong and healthy as he appeared to be. I wish that he could have stayed on this earth, living a good life as the artist that he could have been.
Another death. An artist gone, before he could develop his own talent. Taken at a relatively young age.
I didn't know him all that well, but he was a colleague, and replaced me when I retired. I tried to encourage him to participate more in artistic activities, from the time he became "the other art teacher", and he seemed to enjoy the things that he was able to do. But his other duties always seemed to interfere, and I was left to participate in most things, with my own students, or alone. The few pieces of art that I saw of his showed a lot of promise. But, his time was spent teaching and coaching, and working. One legacy that he did leave was a new logo for the school, which he painted in many places. (I was glad for that! I had to paint the large, fighting, complicated, eagles everywhere prior to that!)
I hope that there is some of his work, somewhere, that will live on after him, other than the logo.
During workshops and demonstrations, beginning some years ago, I became interested in watching various artists work. I took some photos as most people do, and found that I would always get a picture of the artist's hand with a brush, pencil, or whatever tool they were using. I've thought that it would be interesting to do something along the lines of "The Hand Of The Artist". I never thought to get pictures of people who I am around, and now realize that this is something I should have done.
Especially now that my colleague is gone. I do have an image in my mind of the way that he worked, though.
I am in shock that this young man is gone. That he is lost to his students, his family, and that his talent is lost to the world. I really thought that he would be alright. He seemed to be so strong and there was so much more for him to do on earth.
So many people seem to be spending all their time working, and hoping that the day will come when they will be able to stay at home and develop their talents and interests. It is a shame that people can't make it by doing the things that they love and have a talent for, like art, writing, music, caring for their homes and their children. True, some people do love business, offices, paperwork, rigid schedules, challenges, and all the things that go with many jobs. But some people are just made to go in a different direction. They go through their working lives, trying to fit themselves, a round circle, into that square hole that we hear about. It's so hard for anyone, in any of the arts, to be able to find their niche and make a living with their abilities. And, too often, by the time they are able to quit jobs or retire, ill health, disabilities, finances, or even death puts a stop to those plans.
And, so the life cycle goes.
I won't be able to go to the funeral, but I can remember, and pay tribute to him. He will be remembered by many whose lives he touched.

Take time to do what you love, to create while you can, to make memories for generations to follow, to capture and share your life and the lives of those you remember while you can still remember, to sing while you still have a voice, to dance while your feet and legs still work, to take in the sights around you while you can still see, to drink in the sounds around you, and to enjoy whatever you can, while you are still able to find joy. Reach out and up all through your journey. Leave your mark on this earth, and, hopefully, that will be a mark that will be for the good of those who follow you.
And, always, leave your space in life better than you found it.
Have a wonderful, creative, peaceful weekend. Let me know if you see something of interest to you. And don't forget to check out my sidebar. There are always new things in the links.

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