Chalk Cliffs on Rugen (1818)
Museum Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, Switzerland
The image above happens to be one of my favorites. I remember studying this image with one of my mother’s ex-boyfriend’s when I was a kid. He was a brilliant artist and I would say the first to show me to look beyond what is in front of us. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I’m going through an internal storm. Trying to understand myself a bit clearer these days. In doing so, I sit in the morning, sipping on my coffee and just watch nature out my window. There’s a sense of clarity it brings me. A stillness that allows me to shift through all the garbage I have cataloged in my head. You know; the bull-crap we put in front to avoid the crap we want to forget. Well, today I was reminded of a scene in a movie that implied life was like a hamster on a wheel; the only thing that separates us from him is the fact that he knows to jump off and take a rest. I used to think this phrase stuck with me because it was so funny. I now realize it stuck because it referenced how I felt deep inside.
I don’t know when I began to lose sight of the world that he introduced me to. A world of wonder and beauty. I guess I was trapped by the constant struggle of conforming to what the world thought I should be versus accepting who I am. Accepting the fact that I hate numbers and feeling confined. Go figure; I go get an accounting degree and all I do is sit and see nothing but spreadsheets all day. I love art, I love to write stories and poems. I love, love, love to do research on the origins of art and different cultures which influenced the masterpieces. I love the fact that I am geek in nature, always striving to learn something new. I love the fact that I am a hopeless romantic.Better yet; I love the fact that when I make a friend or if I feel compelled to help; I am there loyally until you find your strength to stand on your own two feet.
Of course, I didn’t remember this until I hurt my knee. Chipped the fibular head and tore my meniscus and now nerve damage. This stopped me in my tracks. I guess you can say I didn’t jump off the wheel; I was pushed. Plucked even. Life said,”enough.” The funny thing is that there was so many signs that a storm was brewing. A reckoning deep within. Tremors of frequent anxiety attacks, migraines, hives…have you ever had so much stress that you think of something and break out in hives? Yes, I know it’s weird, but as I look back; I feel like my stress was trying to manifest itself. It had become an entity within its own right as I continued to feed it with sleepless nights, horrible eating habits; and isolation from the world. Of course, being a Scorpio in nature or even just bullheaded; I told no one. I just dealt with my raging insomnia on my own; always putting on a brave face… Because that’s what I do best; take on more than I should; run myself dry; put myself last….
Which brings me to this image. For some reason, I felt this described my life as being on the ledge; staring out at optimism for something more; the fact that I never fully took the first step. Scared to take that risk… Too many of what if’s. What if I did go to the art institute as I wanted? What if I said “no” to my mother when the burden of creating a financial success not for myself but to take care of her and my sister was dropped on me? Where would my life had been? What if I was strong enough to tell my now husband, “we’re going after our dreams?” Would life would have been kinder…Maybe, Maybe not…
This image captured that emotion for me. It slowly emerged from the dense catalog in which I file the most precious of moments not shared with anyone. It was buried under the logic of how life should be versus what it could be…because even as a child I was not confident with who I was. Scared of the unknown, so I played it safe; stayed comfortable under my rock, not making any waves…I guess I just got used to keeping my head down…Anyways, I just wanted to share this moment with you all as one of my many steps to self-discovery…