Sitting here with my morning coffee and reflecting, it occurs to me what was a momentous day yesterday was for two reasons. Firstly because I let go of a painting called “The Visitor (Woman with a Bird) which had been hanging on the same wall for more than 10 years. Secondly, because Carmina and I began rearranging our home for her imminent arrival.
I started this painting in 2009 and finished it in 2010, so I worked on it for a year on and off, leaving it to cook and then returning to it. There are a lot of layers under it, different versions of the final result. In the same way that we experience different moods and wear different clothes, the version we present to the world in the evening might be a little different from the way we were in the morning. We are constantly changing, shifting, always the same but just a little different. And so too with a painting. After all, a painting is, as we are, an expression of Nature, that natural ebb and flow.
Anyway, the reason why yesterday was siginificant to me was because after 10 years of living with this painting “The Visitor” it was time to bid farewell to her. Pilar and I transported the picture to Pilar´s home, her new “nest”. I can´t tell you how happy I am that Pilar has this painting. For years she has said it was her favorite. And seeing it through her eyes has helped me to value it (and myself) all the more. Yesterday evening P. and I moved it to her house.
I don´t know exactly what the painting is about, it´s about many things I suppose. But while painting it, I did reflect on the idea of letting go and receiving. Of being present in the moment in order to witness the great feast of beauty and magic that surrounds us each and every moment, inviting us to revel in. That, for me, is the real real, Realism with a capital R.The coming and going. The person, or moment, or being, a bird, a painting, here for awhile and then to depart. Coming and going, never stopping, never still. The true stillness isn´t to be found there. True stillness is located in some deeper place, this is our perch from which we watch and witness everything.
The woman in the painting is a fantasy, an archetype, the archetypal feminine. In the act of painting I paid tribute and made an offering, through the gesture of painting, to be true to that part of myself and to live dedicatedly according to that path. Coincidentally, yesterday, while preparing the painting for its departure and new home, we (C. and I) were also preparing the home for her. This time, she is not a fantasy and not made of paint, she is a real woman. The painting, for me, marked a moment in my life, a chapter. Letting it go yesterday was about making space for a new chapter and a new life in some ways, the same, but different. Painting The Visitor, the bird, helped me to tune in and connect to nature, her laws, her flow, that source. Through listening and learning how to dance to that music, I learn to open myself just a little more, to let go, and to receive, to “let it out and let it in”. I sit with my morning coffee and stop to observe that there is a strange something at the window, a bird, an angel, something extraordinary, not of this world. I realize, in that instant that there is more to the everday appearance of things than the latest “news”, some fruit on a table, talk, words, the clothes and masks we wear, it´s all a veneer. Thank you for everything, and farewell, “sweet bird”. You are extraordinary indeed. You are in me.