Day 3: River Rock Studio — On the way to finding the path, I found my way.
We painted until midnight. Four adults revelling in the joy of discovery, initiation, anticipation of what happens when we let go of judgement to fall into that place where all we know is what is right before us in the presence of the present of now.
We laughed. Teased. Shared stories. Of art. Art-making. Art-treasuring. We shared ideas. Scraps of paper, “here try this piece there.” “Does anyone have any Green Gold?”
We shared ideas, thoughts, experiments that worked and one’s that didn’t.
We painted medium over magazine pages and set them to dry. We ironed on and peeled back. We worked alone and together. Separately and as one.
And through it all, the muse entwined us in her seductive call to let go, become, allow.
“It’s not only having the information that counts,” Jonathan had told us earlier in the day. “It’s knowing how to share it.”
With yourself. The canvas. One another. The world.
“Art is a visual language,” Jonathan said. “the more we play with it, the more comfortable we become with the elements.”
I am stuck. My piece is not working.
I am attached to the elements, the composition, the path I’ve chosen.
Jonathan sits on the other side of my work table. “Take the elements off the substrate,” he says. “All of them.”
I take them off.
“You have 3 minutes to rearrange them,” he says. “Make a new composition.” And looks at his watch, timing me.
I rearrange the pieces of my collage.
“Do you like it?” he asks.
“It’s okay,” I tell him.
“Do it again,” he says.
And I do. Again and again, each time working to place the elements without thought, without attachment.
“None of it is permanent. None of it,” he says when I have arranged the elements into a final pose.
And in the reconstruction of the composition, I discover harmony in other ways.
There is no one right way to discover the path. There is only the path I take and always, there are many paths to find myself.
I had arisen early to sit outside in the morning light. In silence, I sat and heard the birdsong, the leaves rustling. Somewhere in the distance, I heard a coyote yip, an owl hoot. Somewhere in the distance, there were many things I could not hear. Voices talking. Laughing. Calling to one another, rising to greet the day. Cars passing over asphalt, a bird landing on the still surface of a pond, rippling it for a moment as it touched down.
I knew all these things were happening, somewhere in the distance, and still I sat. Alone. Quiet. At peace in the early morning light.
Another day of wonder and awe awaits. Another day unfolds in the joy of creating without any intention other than to learn and express and experience the gifts the muse has to share.