Sunday, April 10, 2011

Diversions

Peace Lily
(component of a current sculpture that has since been painted-over to be a more subtle statement....see photo below)

MX Missile (a.k.a. Peacekeeper)
by Shanna Wheelock
in progress

"window books" for MX Missile sculpture
(in progress)

People live their lives within the comfort of their routines and then one day, unexpectedly, something happens in an instant that forever changes life as they have come to know it. When I am witness to these cataclysms, I find myself thanking the universe repeatedly for the bounty of my life.

The past few days in the studio have been an intense time of reflection. What I have noticed is that every part of our lives seems to be like this. We are on a path and we think we know where that path will lead. We make decisions based on the expected final outcome. No matter how much one feels prepared, it is only an illusion.

Even the most minute of decisions seems to be out of our hands. Driving down a road you expect to continue in a straight line on your own side. Then a chipmunk scurries from the dirt onto the tar and you have to turn the wheel, tapping the brake and temporarily slowing as you do so. Moments later a truck runs a stop sign and your vehicle just misses clipping the back side of that vehicle. If you had been one second further down the road, you would have crashed.

Even if only slightly, one-second of slowing-down is a diversion from the intended path. Or was the intended path to not crash? What is the consequence of the sum of these tiny diversions?

This past week has been emotionally-charged as I have witnessed those around me experience painful upheavals and grief. As removed as I may be, in the whole scope of things, I feel their pain on what is a comparatively miniscule level.

Sometimes, after the dust settles and we catch our breath again, we can see that beauty unfolds from the pain. Perhaps other lives are granted from one's loss. Perhaps a person's story inspires another to do great things. Perhaps the end of a relationship sets a person back on the path they were once on and thought maybe to never return.

Times like these, I am so grateful for the gift of being an artist, for having the outlet to express my innermost emotions. I am grateful that I have an awareness of the power of art and that no matter how horrible things may seem all around me, that in the moment, in that metaphysical space, all feels alright, focused, tunneled, and safe.

I end this blog today feeling like there is so much more to say, but I feel pulled to be in the studio. My inner-voice is pleading to manifest through symbols in wax, clay and paint.

It's best I go when called.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

After going through a somewhat traumatic weekend, I too spent a lot of time reflecting on the diversions that are put in my path and their reasons for being. We can ignore these signs, or choose to listen. I chose to listen and it sounds like you have too. Thanks for sharing, Shanna.