Imagine yourself drifting in a life raft in the middle of an ocean. The seas are rising and falling all around you. There is nothing to do but drift. The horizon holds all the possibility for life, but it is always just a horizon and nothing more. Even as the weather changes the fact remains, there is nothing you can do to change your circumstances.
Marooned is a series of six, open-water paintings. The theme was not a conscious one, rather I was looking for a way to say what I was feeling in this new season of my “adult aloneness”, to quote the poet David Whyte. I had just entered the great uncertainty of mid-life, and it was engulfing me with a most unexpected vastness.
Looking at these paintings today I am comforted by the hope I see in the light breaking through the clouds. This marks a shift in perspective for me, as prior to this Marooned series I was not so willing to receive with gratitude the simple gifts that life offers in the midst of otherwise difficult times. Too often I had believed that a lack of joy and happiness meant that I was failing to engineer a good life. When those efforts fail and we let ourselves fall apart, what remains is more true and more beautiful than any controlled outcome. This is the beginning of acceptance, and becoming present to “what is”. It is the very doorway to contemplation.