It's September 8, 2022.
Last night I had a dream. Or rather, I guess it was around 5:30 this morning when I did my normal “light is starting to seep in, should I get up?” bedsheet dance. I decided I should not. I stayed warm in bed and kept dreaming.
I am outside of a warehouse, surrounded by several people I once spent more time with- I couldn’t identify any one of them, but their shared character energy suggests they are curious personalities with whom I no longer share attitudes or thought processes. Our interactions are peaceful and neutral.
I walk through them, doing my work, putting something away, locking a door. They ask me how I am able to get done what I’ve been getting done these days, and feel as good as I feel so often. Things are going so well, they suggest. I smile and keep working.
Now we are in a car, emerging from an underground parking garage, up into a metropolitan city street above. I think it may be Manhattan, on the upper east side near the Met. Yes, it is. We drive into a beautiful intersection where the late morning sun is shining gold and fresh on the south facing buildings, turning the neighbourhood air into a pool of promise. Today, things are going well. People are walking to work, freshly showered. Some wear headphones and dance while they walk. Someone is talking on a cell phone (but it’s one from the late 90’s with an antenna), smiling as they discuss something positive, looking around.
We are in a convertible. Something modest from the mid 90’s that is appreciated by few, but runs well and is a joy to ride in. If I look down I’m pretty sure I’ll see a car phone. It is October, and the fresh morning air is warm somehow. I’m in the back seat, looking ahead through the sunlight at the silhouettes of shop keepers lifting their metal storefront gates, unlocking their glass doors for the day ahead. Signs are being flipped to “Open”. If it were real life, I would probably be ready for a fresh cup of coffee, and a toasted everything bagel with salmon cream cheese. We turn right.
In the back seat of the convertible, I am asked again (again, or has this one question lingered through each scene?) “How are you able to get done what you’ve been getting done these days, and feel as good as you feel so often? You seem to feel that things are going so well for you,” they suggest.
There were no words spoken, but this was the question.
I reassured them, “I do things that bring me various joys, and so I get to experience joy regularly. I choose these things. And in the moments in between, I meditate. I meditate every day, to ensure that I practice feeling at peace in stillness. Stillness is a time for peace, acceptance. Otherwise, my mood is liable to become depressive when what I’m doing is not naturally joyful. And so I practice acceptance and creating peace in stillness. That is my baseline, my foundation. And everything above it, with appreciation, feels joyful.”
I’ve painted four works on wood, which are currently on display for you to view in person at The Innovation Centre downtown Kelowna, at 469 Doyle Ave, at Ellis Street.
They prompted my dream.
They are a series titled “Presence Unveiled”. In that series you'll see three blue pieces and a yellow piece, all together in one room. I've paired that series with my two "Waves, Pt. 1" series pieces around the corner of the hallway. (Bring ear buds to view those two!)
I invite you to view them in person. Walk through the lobby, sit in the couches, and take your time with each one, if it suits your attention. It’s a beautiful office building on the corner of Ellis and Doyle featuring a giant lobby full of light, a coffee shop, restaurant, and direct access to the library.
Would you like some words to consider while you look? Here are some I felt while painting these pieces: Peace, glimmer, foundation, seafloor, trajectory, surface, acceptance, neutral, observer, stillness.
I felt that “hope” is a negative word, a word of duality that suggests we need it. I’ve eliminated that word from my feelings. I no longer look to the light with hope; I instead look around at all I’ve illuminated. And it seems, the longer I stand still, the more I can see.