The title itself could be intriguing enough, but I’m touching on a behavior that has developed over the years and something that perhaps I have inherited from my grandmother. She would keep every little pretty paper, every little ribbon or card, but really anything that spoke to her heart I guess. Neatly pressed in between bedsheets you perhaps find pressed flowers or other treasures tucked away for safe keeping. She had a hard time tearing herself from those things and even though we never had a conversation about it, I can only imagine that those things spoke to her and made her feel good. I would picture her from time to time, standing in front of one of those treasures and letting her heart breathe in the simple pleasures until her heart was calm and a sigh came over her lips to form a faint smile dancing across her face. Life got serious for me at the age of ten with my Dad’s passing. I grew up too fast, missing many child like activities and the careless nature you would want for your child. When I reflect back, I know that I blocked much of the time that would follow out of my life. The body has a way of protecting itself during times of immense shock and for me it was in the form of forgetting much about my childhood. The lines between being a child and growing up are blurred and most of my memories are filled with adult like seriousness. Sometimes I feel that it is that very seriousness that I’m rebelling against now as an adult. Here and there a memory is triggered as I always seem to look for things outside the box, unique things you might not expect from the average adult and the things that evoke those feeling my grandmother had being surrounded by her treasure.
I have long started collecting my own treasures, consisting of bits and pieces that don’t make any sense but bring to the surface those very emotions of eccentric bliss. No big deal I thought for many years, but more so now I see a connection back to more innocent times, some of them maybe things I should have done as a child and other things that bring me piece as an adult and as an artist. The creation process remains strong within me and my perfect career would be something were that inspiration could flourish. It is a balance between the seriousness of life and my own toned down expression of such. Ideas often come out of nowhere and I have to wonder myself where they came from. Did something trigger a childhood memory, something that I missed growing up or am I just trying to cheer myself up and bring light into the darkness.
My paintings for instance are whimsy and everything apart from being serious. Maybe the message is serious but how they are portrayed are more in an innocent childlike manner. It’s been a way of expression for me, to lighten the load and to bring to the forefront emotions that will always hold a deeper connection to the finished piece for me, as it might hold to the viewer. There is on emotion, a feeling and a rawness that I can see as I think back to the time of when I painted it. What I experienced and the way I felt back then.
Recently I felt the need to get rain boots. Not because of their functionality but because I associated them with childlike abandon. They had to be brightly colored to stand up against the gray days. I pictured myself jumping into the puddles during a downpour, my hair wet while making a mess out of myself, but cleansing my soul on the inside as I let my troubles wash away. The symbolic meaning for me stands for releasing that inner child that lives within all of us, to let go and to find beauty among the mess. I got my rain boots the other day and I don’t remember the last time when I was so excited about a package coming in the mail. I felt like child, whisked away by the simple things and life was as perfect as it could have been in those moments. The only thing that will top that feeling will be when it actually warms up enough that I can jump into the puddles and it already makes my heart happy just thinking about it. For sure I will be a mess on the outside, jumping, perhaps even lying down while feeling the ground underneath me and being connected to Mother Earth. I see myself look up to the sky and feel the tears of heaven running down my face and all that will matter is that very moment, an experience no amount of money could buy. But where did that come from? Did I have rain boots as I was little or did I always wanted some and the wish got lost in the seriousness of things? I don’t know but I look forward to living that moment.
As soon as the rain boots incident passed, a new creation knocked on the door and I decided to make my own bath bombs and fizzies. Not that I have a ton of extra time but maybe a sign to slow down and indulge in a bath more often. But also the need to create and to make things for myself and others resurfaced as it has been awhile that I done something like this.
Next I wanted to get my own Ukulele and thought how cool it would be to strap it to my backpack during hiking trips and play it at a beautiful spot while being one with nature. If you ever had a change to watch somebody playing their guitar, a didgeridoo or sing out there across from Half Dome or some other impressive landmark, then you know what I mean. It’s a feeling that stays with you, it touches your soul and it restores that deep inner peace. I know that it is the feeling that I’m trying to hold on to and the only problem for me is that I don’t play the ukulele, ha. Not that that would stop me from getting one that is soothingly colored with a peace signs and a bohemian flair of flower strings and such. Can you see it?
Here is a video we shot hiking up the four mile trail in Yosemite, a beast that I have unfinished business with, but that is a different story. We came across a few backpackers taking a break in front of Half Dome and who were kind enough to let us join in their moment.
Into the next eccentric occurrence I have started collecting used gift cards from my store. Everybody has joined the effort to save the cards for me and by now I must have 100+ different designs, tucked away in a neat wooden trunk crate of the perfect size to hold them. Who does something like this? I’m not sure what exactly provoked this action to take on flight, but the other day I got so excited about getting a new one that I would have not found it in the least bit surprising if somebody would have declared me crazy. Thinking that I lost my mind being so happy about something so little, it was for a moment even I thought that I needed to get a life. Instead I followed up with laughter and you do have to be able to laugh about yourself from time to time, right? Still those are the moments and the little things that bring light to my day and I know that one day these gift cards will find their way into an art project that I already can envision.
And yet next, I had to color my own Easter eggs yesterday and a faint memory to my childhood days emerges when I must have done this once before. I wanted an Easter basket and the chocolate bunny you would give to a child. More and more I feel like I’m reliving my childhood and some of the things I have forgotten or never got to experience. Coloring my own eggs which didn’t stop there as they had to be decorated afterwards, was like I was doing a little science project that I now have mixed emotions about. I can only imagine that it happened then that something got on my Fargo Strut shirt that might have permanently ruined it. Funny how these things work and how the things that mean the most to you always fall subject to some kind of freak accident.
Nevertheless, the childlike abandon is growing within, in a life that is often serious but I feel it rooted deep inside. I admit that the word abandon itself has become a favorite word of mine, one I would consider tattooing right underneath the OM symbol as it sends chills down my spine and encompasses much of my nature and how I feel these days.
The dictionary defines abandon as a complete lack of inhibition and restraint. A wildness and impulsiveness, impetuous in the pursuit of your dreams that I relate to thinking less and letting the heart rule your happiness. To turn off the noise by overthinking everything and to just take the leap of faith to feel young and innocent as you felt as a child. To cease to support and desert, which means for me letting go of the conventional demands of society and to give up completely the things that tie me to a life filled with expectations and demands.