(painting “mountain lake” by kristin eames)
she was painted by an artist from mccall, Idaho. it was the first time I had ever seen her work, and this piece struck me hard. I loved the colors, the light and depth, the lone figure submerged to her neck in a deep cold mountain lake and most importantly the perspective, that ¾’s of the painting is seen from under water. I ended up receiving her as a chirstmas gift, and at the time I did not realize what a pivitol moment in time it was that she came to me.
she was alone and most of her environment she was unable to see at all…she always struck me as someone who had just swam all the way across this vast, dangerous expanse and had only just reached the other side. but…not quite, as her feet were precariously close to the edge of the boulder and she was not yet at the shore, and she wasn’t really quite safe…almost, but not quite…
she hung on a chartreuse wall in a light flooded living room, where the color of the rocks changed with the time of day. she hung in a sunlit stairwell in my first house that was just mine. then above my bed in a tiny dark nest of a room, in a living room again and now to the right of my bed in my new bedroom. my cozy small room with dappled light like some secret forest glade. the shadows of the trees outside dancing thru the blinds and onto the walls.
during the summer, I noticed there was a window of time, early in the morning, when the sun was just rising and aimed directly through one of my bedroom windows that this brilliant play of shadow and shadow from the blinds was cast onto the painting. it looked like a portal, a doorway, a membrane that she was passing through. another demension. another chapter.
water, the source of all life, the domain of the goddess. the lady of the lake.
deep emotions, immense creativity, life giving and death and renewal. her primary functions.
for the longest time I only saw her as having made this dangerous crossing and she was almost to land. as the years have gone by, it struck me that she was perhaps getting in to the water and preparing to swim across. to embark on a journey. to cross a channel. now I see that she just endlessly swims back and forth. she keeps her eye on the distant shore, but swims breath by breath, stroke by stroke. feeling the temperature change in the water depending on the depth, that she cannot see beneath her. she has no idea how deep in she is… calming the terror that something huge and evil and monstrous will devour her, drown her, pull her under….“just keep swimming, just keep swimming….” and then pause and tread water and catch your breath, calm your heart and don’t fight the current and find that you wash up in a different place than you had imagined that you would and explore that stretch of beach and turn and see where you came from. sit down be still. savore. feel the sun on your skin. eat. drink. have a nap under a tree. and then, take a breath, wade back in, and strike out to see where you end up next….