Every day we have the opportunity to embark on a hero's journey; often we do and don't realize it. Sometimes that journey can occur in a matter of hours, sometimes it spans the years. If you ever find yourself in dark places, confused and afraid, unsure if you are worthy, know that you have been gifted with your own journey; look for the signs, accept the help, embrace the ordeal because upon your rebirth, upon your transformation and atonement you will have a gift for yourself, and through you, a gift for the world.
This was formerly "Landscape". The first painting I did in 2011. If you find the description of it in '2011 works', you'll see that I was thoroughly confused by its meaning and wasn't sure "who it was for".
Like "All the Rage" being recycled and rebirthed in to "Rage", a much more distilled and honest variation of the initial expression, I believe "Landscape" becoming "Vulnerability" is in the same vein; that at the time of initial creation I could only catch a ghost of future understanding.
'Vulnerability' is absolutely about its namesake. I take tentative steps in to the world with the intention of doing so unarmed, giving up the weapons of racial privilege, sexual privilege, economic privilege; knowing that I AM ENOUGH. It is terrifying to be exposed like this but I know I must be the change I want to see in the world.
I hold an image of my relationship which has given me the strength to get this far. Encouraged by my partner's work, encouraged by her own explorations and her courage to bring a torch in to her shadow world and look these beasts in the eye. Encouraged by her love and support; knowing she's got my back, knowing that to her, I AM ENOUGH.
Once again I stood at the canvas convinced I had nothing to say; feeling in a mediocre mood. Expecting mediocre work. I took a deep breath asked for guidance, focused on the canvas, waited a few moments and then like someone else had grabbed my hand the brush hit the surface like the cut of a sword and it was on.
It poured out of me. I knew exactly what to do each step of the way; as I was finishing one colour I would get a brain snap that was clear as day what the next colour should be and before I knew it (well, not quite that easily, I had to do three layers of pyrrole red for lack of opacity ;-) it was done.
I sat down and looked at it and felt great joy that I had channeled something pure. Honest. And as I lauded my accomplishment, I can describe it in no other way than it frowned at me and the magic I felt started to disappear and I realized it was calling me out. I was calling me out. Humbled, I put my feet back on the ground and felt gratitude to have created such a great mirror for my inner world.
The horse has turned his head and is looking at me, I am on his back. He is asking if I'd like to journey with him. The road is long and it leads in to the mystery. He says I shouldn't do this alone. He is power, grace, nobility, beauty, strength and freedom.
When I first perceived the horse in this piece, I was not convinced that I should coach him out of the initial chaos of the paintings foundation. After turning the canvas upside down and seeing a mirror of him I ceased to doubt the process.
In researching horse symbolism and history it was interesting to learn that horses have been in partnership with us for over 5000 years and are probably one of the biggest contributors to the enhancement of our civilization. Honestly, I've been mostly afraid of them and not given them a whole lot of thought up until now. Only recently have I begun to feel on equal footing. I like this slow respectful development.
This is like the soundtrack of my life
"The truth is that I never shook my shadow
Every day it's trying to trick me into doing battle
Calling out "faker" only get me rattled
Want to pull me back behind the fence with the [cattle]
Building your [lenses]
Digging your trenches
Put me on the front line
Leave me with a dumb mind
With no defenses
But your defenses
If you can't stand to feel the pain then you are senseless
I've grown up some
Different kind of fighter
And when the darkness come let it inside you
Your darkness is shining
My darkness is shining
Have faith in myself
I've seen a million numbered doors on the horizon
Now which is the future you choosen before you gone dying.
I'll tell you 'bout a secret I've been underminding
Every little lie in this world come from dividing
Say you're my lover, say you're my homie,
Tilt my chin back slit my throat take a bath in my blood get to know me
All out of my secrets
All my enemies are turning into my teachers.
Because, lights blinding, no way dividing what's yours or mine when everything's shining
You darkness is shining my darkness is shining
Have faith in ourselves
Yes I'm only loving, only trying to only love
That's what I'm trying to do is only loving
Yes I'm only lonely loving feeling only loving
Till I'm feeling only loving
Ya say it ain't loving ain't loving my loving
But I'm only loving only loving only loving
Only loving the truth."