I didn’t grow up camping or being an outdoors person. I am not a fan of the creepy crawly bugs or the things that slither. And yet, my heart longs to stroll through the woods. Even just standing in a cluster of trees feeds something deep inside. This kind of experience ushers in solace, like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cool night.
The metaphor of the woods can be a place of danger and uncertainty. The woods are the place where bandits hide, robbery happens on the king’s road, monsters linger in the shadows and even Jason was hanging out there. How is it also a place of solace? The woods of solace are a place where my soul awakens and feels safe. It the place I can face my fearful thoughts, doubts and insecurities. It transports me to a dimension, that is internal and Divine. It is like walking through a portal, a looking glass or stepping into a fairy ring. It is an opening to understanding, few dare to venture. Have you been there?
This painting emerged from the swirling of paint on the paper, from the contemplation of something I do not remember and yet it still connects to a mystical place. The symbols and totems that came to life in the paint are archetypal messages. Today I see the dove, the heart, the sleeping wolf, the face of the hawk or phoenix, all in the shade of a great tree. How I work with my paintings is to simply contemplate what I see or to just allow feelings, emotions and thoughts to percolate. I may journal, blog or I may just rest in the time with the painting. Either way, I am shifting something inside, in the sacred woods of the Self. The place where the Divine speaks in a whisper, a breath, an a-ha.
We each have our process for learning about ourselves and our purpose here on this beautiful planet. My way may not be your way. Some see the woods as a place of confusion. When I was waiting tables, “the weeds” were the place of being very busy, like being triple sat. “The woods” felt like I would never catch up. It was the signal to the manager to help…I always could handle the weeds of waiting tables, it was a rush and exhilarating. The woods felt like drowning. It is interesting how meanings and symbols can change over time, from a place of drowning to solace. What are the woods to you? Depending on the meaning, I wish you into the woods or out of the woods. Blessings on your journey!