How do you relate to nature? Do you feel separate or connected ?
When Hans Hoffman suggested that Jackson Pollock try working from nature, Pollock famously answered “I am nature”.
Morning walks in the woods behind my house with my dog Hazel is the most comforting and contemplative part of my day. There is a deep feeling of being a part of the cycle and a knowing that there is really no separation. Our culture tends to be so disconnected from the natural world and we often relate to it only for our pleasure and for sustenance. We are being taken further and further away from understanding ourselves and the world.
Amongst the trees, the moss and the lichen, there is a connection to the past and a gentle understanding that everything is in a state of flux. I see it every day. Overnight a tree came down and there are now a few buds on the Oak tree. The hole in the birch tree is wider and with fresh shavings, likely from a stately pileated woodpecker.
I have been painting landscapes this year. I know the earth represents being grounded to me and the sky represents the infinite. But why? Couldn’t it be the other way around? If you think how everything can be turned upside down both metaphorically and literally, what is the reality anymore? Especially this year.
What do we really know? Perhaps the infinite sky is what grounds you. Maybe your feet are in the sky and your head is on the ground. These thoughts were spurred by a a friend’s blog who shared a cover of the Pixies’ song “Where is your mind”. Matt Zeigler’s blog, Cultish Creative, is a fantastic read for anyone, especially us creative types.
I urge you to get outside, not just for exercise, but to connect with yourself and the world again. It will remind you that you are creative, that you are part of the mysterious cycle, that you matter yet you don’t matter. It will make you feel grounded and remind you of the infinite. Make it a regular practice. Make it a meditation.