Pearl is a part of an ocean series that I have been creating to honor the healing of our oceans. Since moving to Sarasota, Florida a year and half I ago I became more conscious of the effects pollution is having on our oceans. The ocean has always carried a special place in my heart. Growing up in Alabama I vividly remember all the family vacations we took to the panhandle. In fact it is the only vacation location our parents took us. For me it always felt like visiting another planet. The magic was all around. I remember building sand castles, jumping the ways and floating on rafts and giggling the entire time. My brother and I love the calm energy of being around the ocean. The ebbing and flowing of the waves brought a much needed stillness that we thirst for in our world. We could always count on the ocean to bring out the playful side of our very intense family dynamics. So those trips to the beach represented a soul healing journey for us.
When my husband and I moved to our dream home in Sarasota, Florida I was beyond thrilled. I could now go any time I wanted to the beach. The “fine white powered sugar ” sandy beaches brought such a joyful smile upon my face. But then after about 6 months a devastation problem arose. Red Tide hit our area. It was like a killing field. Tons upon tons of dead fish and mammals drifted to our shores. Not even birds dared to venture to the shoreline. I became devastated to say the least. Although everyone says Red Tide is a natural occurrence, I can’t believe that the intensity, for which we were experiencing for well over a year, is natural.
I knew I had to do something, no matter how small the contribution. I couldn’t just sit back and watch it all happen without doing something to heal my part. A still voice inside whispered, “paint your prayers”. So I decided right then, to start a series of ocean paintings. Each one would also symbolized the healing path of my own journey. I try my best to live by a saying that I learned in Girl Scouts, which was taken from a statement by Robert Baden-Powell, “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it…’ My Girl Scouts days are probably the most concrete memories of my childhood and still today when I walk away I try to make sure I left the area a little bit better than I found it.
When the idea for this particular painting came through me, the first thing that popped in my mind was the title. I instantly knew this painting was going to take me on an emotional cleansing rollercoaster ride because the foundation was all about sitting in the pollution so that we know what needs to be cleaned up. I think we can only clean up what we acknowledge within ourselves. The pollution is ‘our mess’ to clean up. I think each one of us is responsible for the collective pollution. If we are doing our part I think we are either choosing to clean it up on the inside or we are choosing to clean it up on the outside. Either way we can all make a huge difference in stopping water pollution. I think we all have a job to do to help heal this planet and our oceans are deeply effected right now by our messes. If each one of us, took just a little bit the time to let this issue soak in we would begin to see how important the oceans are to our survival and our children’s survival. Over half of the world's oxygen comes from phytoplankton photosynthesis. That is tremendous! Yet our oceans are sick and they need our help to become whole again. We caused this mess so it is up to us to clean it up. We need to set the wake up call alarm and let it ring loud and clearly until everyone hears it. We can’t afford to ignore the pollution that is accumulating in our seas any longer.
Not only is this painting a symbol of my healing prayer for our oceans, it is also a sample of the healing for myself as well. I believe balance is an ongoing journey that never ends. We are always balancing our inner world and our outer world. For me I have noticed as I continue to grow and expand I am able to let go of old patterns that no longer serve me and then I can embrace new patterns. I guess it is like cleaning up my closets, so to speak. For me this is what I am being called to do.
By watching my time-lapse video below you will be able to see the symbol of my healing process as it unfolds. It is my hope that you will be able to see and feel the emotional cleansing waves move through the painting. There are layers underneath the final layer that I thought would still show through the finished piece but this painting wanted to present a symbol of healing the water pollution. Therefore she wanted to show the finished painting as sweet and innocent and clear.
When I took Pearl as far as I could take her, I stepped back and noticed that she seemed to be staring at me with piercing eyes, as if she was beckoning me to respond to her call. Can’t you hear her whisper, “Clean up your messes and return the beauty to the sea. For the sea is where you came from and it is a part of your very essence.”
Originally the painting was going to just be called Live in the Solution not the Pollution, but then when I saw a big circle in the middle of her top I thought it looked more like a huge pearl. For me a pearl is trying to reminder that the most painful festering grit of life experiences can be overcome and transformed into a magnificent beauty , a pearl. All it takes is one step at a time and before we know it we have a beautiful gift of the pearl to replace our pain.
I want to add the the background music fit the painting perfectly in fact it gave the painting a whole new life. I find it fitting that it is called HOME. Aren’t we are all trying to get home. The music is by Whitesands. It is so lovely… so soothing and tranquil. It is as if it is a lullaby of the sea.
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