The Pull of the Water
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
I have always been drawn to water. It soothes me, calms me. When I was in college in Chicago and I needed to wander to be with myself, there were no woods to go to, so I would go to Lake Michigan. I always found solace looking out on that great expanse and listening to the water hit the rocks. I would even go in wintertime and be that insane lone person looking out on the frigid water. When I lived in Seattle, the greys and blues of the Puget Sound just enveloped me. I felt comforted by the calmness of the water and sky.
On my list of things of I’d much rather be doing something else is: going to the gym. I hate going to the gym, and I can easily and often do come up with any excuse to skip it, but I know I must. And so, I swim. Lap after lap after lap. Very meditative once I get into the rhythm. The silence of the water is so welcoming as it muffles the noise of the pool when I come up for air. I love water, always have. In fact, my most intense dreams always have to do with water and water creatures. Who knows, maybe I had ancestors who lived by the water and were fishermen and women. My father did come from the Philippines, an island nation. Or, perhaps in some alternate universe I was a mermaid. I used to pretend I was a mermaid when I was a little girl and would spend all day swimming in the pool. Or hours bobbing up and down in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. I feel most comfortable in seaside towns.
When I got back into the studio in January I once again felt out of practice (I need to really address that!) and I was in major floundering mode. In frustration I completely covered a painting I had been working on in a deep blue….and then I decided to keep going and paint what had been in my heart and mind since we had left Orcas Island January 1st. We had spent a week there to celebrate my birthday and bring in the new year in one of our most favorite places on earth. Ferry rides and boat rides gave me my fill of water views. So beautiful out there.
My first painting of 2016.
“If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water.” ~Loren Eisley