Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wishing for Water

Wishing for Water
8" X 10"

Water. Something I’ve loved or feared, or more recently, pleaded for, throughout my life.

As a child, they couldn’t get me out of the tub, let alone the wading pool—and later—the ocean. I was fearless. I was a fish, a mermaid, a dolphin, and the waves were the best part as I learned to dive under the base of the break, pushing off the sandy bottom to pop into the air on the topside of the swell. I was light, lithe, and at one with the water. I’d emerge with shriveled fingers and toes, feeling gravity take over once again, trudging heavy and awkward onto the shore.  

For a while, I lived in a home we came to call “The Water House”. Every time we turned around, the house was flooded. There was a backyard pool that oddly sat higher than the house, so every time it overflowed (torrential downpours, earthquakes), water spilled into the house. The washing machine and dishwasher both gave us trouble; the plumbing backed up on a regular basis; and we had a dog and a cat that refused to do their business outside or in a litter box. My relationship with water was not good during that time.

When feeling overwhelmed or under stress, I find myself dreaming about swimming in a stormy ocean filled with massive waves. I take a deep breath and dive under, kicking like mad to come to the surface. Once I reach the surface, I struggle to tread water in the turbulent sea. Off in the distance I see a small ship bobbing on the waves.

A few months ago, water became a central theme once again when we began to drill a well for water. I won’t go into the whole story, but what we naively thought would be a simple, though expensive process, turned into an ordeal fraught with stress and anxiety. After two attempts, to our great despair, we still had no water.

I dreamed of water: gigantic waves cascading over me; wading knee-deep, sometimes waist-deep through water-filled rooms; I’d hold a glass under a tap that sputtered dust. We both dreamt, but we didn’t rest. I drank wine, wishing I could turn it to water.

In November, as we attempted for the third and last time to find water, I felt compelled to paint Water, pouring my fear and longing and prayer into this piece, focusing all my energy into Water. That same day, I burned sage while pleading to Mother Earth to bless us with water.

In the end, Clint chose the right spot and Mother heard me. We have water and we are grateful.