I had one of those dreams again. The one where I'm looking for a map, as I wander around a strange city, winding streets, climb hills and poke around corners, looking for a map that will show me where I am or how to get to somewhere else. I never seem to find the map, or I wake up just before I do. Sometimes I also wonder, how do I know I'm not dreaming even though it seems I am awake. Here, now, writing this, I must be awake. The same sensation is there. I am lost. There definitely isn't a map, not as symbolic as it appears in the dreams, one that sits perched in a convenient wire stand, all graphically designed to be easy to read and navigate, icons, a legend to tell you where the bridges are or the points of interest. No, there's no map in the awake world. Just an intention, to walk towards a place where I think, I'll feel, integrated I guess. Because, what's lost is an essential part that's missing. Or so I think. I really don't know.
But I don't know what's missing, how can you identify what's not there? It's a puzzle. But this jigsaw, doesn't come with a cover with the picture printed for you to match it to. The pieces are everywhere, every moment. I paint pictures, trying to create a jigsaw piece, that maybe looking back, when seen together will show me the map. But it will be in retrospect. I'd have traveled that journey. I am here now, because of where I've been.
Asking for Directions, oil on canvas, 1997
Immersion, oil on canvas, 2019.
Immersion, is the step towards integration. A feeling of wholeness. Those moments, which with awareness, extend to being awake to the understanding that we are not lost, or separate or alone. It's a trick of the psyche, and as uncomfortable as it feels, these feelings pass.