Day 4 of 59 Days: “Between the Valley and the Mountain"
Day 4: “Between the Valley and The Mountain”
Original painting acrylic on paper 18×24, “Between the Valley and the Mountain” 11/12/15
“You can’t see the forest for the trees,” “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” “It’s not the destination, but the journey,” “two paths diverged in the woods…” Clichés, poems, expressions, ancient proverbs provide guidance of the importance of perspective. This painting, “Between the Valley and the Mountain,” painted back in 2015, still whispers this message. I cannot see the path in the valley, yet it calls me. What time of day is it, with a pink sky? Where in the world is this place?
This painting reminds me of a day trip I took, with a friend, recently. We went to the mountains for the day, to hear a talk about walking the Camino. We had a fun afternoon window shopping, eating delicious food and drink, browsing a bookstore. Ending our time in the mountains, we enjoy the presentation about a couple’s journey of the Camino through France and Spain. Heading home and riding in the passenger seat, I am reflecting on the day and the road ahead. It is a busy ride down the mountain. My friend keeps sighing, wowing and exclaiming the beauty of the sunset that is following us as we head east. She is so taken with the rear view. I was processing my internal journey and what was stirred by another pilgrim. Finally, I engage with my friend by looking over my shoulder and then in the side view mirror. It was, indeed, breathtaking. I snapped a picture of the reflection in the mirror. What catches me is the clarity of the message on the mirror, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” I am also taken with the reflection in the window of the car. The varying perspectives and reflections in the picture don’t even do the beauty justice. Yet, it captures a memory tab or que, something to remind me of that day, that moment of reflection and conversation. When I look at the picture today, I am not where I was in my life at that moment of a few weeks ago. Same is true for my painting from 2015. Both bring me to a place of reflecting on perspective.
My dear friend, Merriam-Webster, defines perspective as “a mental view or prospect; a visible scene; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.” What are the prospects of the valley and the mountain? What is the visible scene from the rearview mirror? What is the relative importance of the stirrings of a pilgrim on this journey of life? A little cheeky? YES! And, true. We live our lives in relationship with others, and alone at the same time. We have the visible, exterior scene and the internal landscape, the mental view. We have the aspects of clear articulation and those we can’t put into words, that are mere stirrings. We have “the forest AND the trees.”
As I was perusing the online dictionary of Merriam-Webster, the word of the day caught my eye. Message? Guidance? Or just the opportunity to expand my vocabulary? The word was inexorable. The meaning is “not to be persuaded, moved or stopped.” During the talk about the Camino, I heard much that could have stopped this couple. It wasn’t an easy trek to say the least, yet they ventured on…all the way to the ocean. What made them inexorable? What is so compelling in my life that would bring that kind of commitment? Truth be told, “I still haven’t found what I am looking for!” Thanks, to U2 playing at this moment on Apple Music. 😊 My journey of 10,000 steps begins now. It begins, each and every day. As the cliché goes, “it’s not over til it’s over.” I welcome the journey, the path, the people that walk with me for a time. I appreciate the varying perspectives, conversations and internal reflecting that comes from living a life on purpose. Clichés, as cheeky as they are, serve as a compass or GPS. I suggest listening to your internal guidance and decide what is going to make you inexorable. Blessings.
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