Unless. . .

I went to see The Lorax yesterday afternoon with my daughter and two granddaughters. I cried. The trees the trees the trees. The message amplified my own urgency to speak for the trees and everything else on this planet.

Unless…I loved how the filmmakers – Dr. Seuss – played with that word UNLESS. Unless people decide to change, unless we wake up; unless we each fall in love with life; unless we decide to change priorities, unless unless unless. Unless reminds me of positive possibilities. Unless I paint tonight, my world is doomed. ha ha So something about that film, the book about whales I’ve been reading this week which also touches on the plight of salmon, both wild and farmed, ( Alexandra Morton’s  Listening to Whales http://www.raincoastresearch.org/home.htm )
something about my last painting, conspired to make me remember another memory related to trees.

Somehow it’s connected to choosing our paths and that lightning bolt of white that so intrigues me in the painting featured in my last post. The memory is of being stranded with a woman friend after dark in the wilderness with no flashlights or candles on a black and stormy November evening. It’s a good story but too long to share here. What got me home was following the sky above my head. Seriously, it was literally so dark in the thick pine forest that I couldn’t see my feet nor the trail – that dark, really that dark. A “lightning bolt” of happenstance made me look up. I realized that the trail we were following could be seen as a ribbon of slightly paler dark strung against the darker dark of the forest. Although I can see that skypath as a pale imitation of a lightning bolt, too.

There were no stars. But to capture the feeling of being supported by invisible spirits and the sleeping trees themselves, I had to spatter. I love the effect. . The painting really does bring my memory alive of the magic and trust I experienced walking with my eyes turned upward rather than down.

And reminds me that every lightning bolt is an opportunity for UNLESS.  It only takes a stroke of imagination, recognition, compassion to change everything.

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About Deborah

Deborah Jane Milton, Ph.D. is an artist, mentor, and eco-psychologist, mother of four and grandmother of eight.
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4 Responses to Unless. . .

  1. Shannon Goose says:

    I am so very moved by this post, Deborah. And the last one too. Together they have drawn me into my own memories of trees; some painful, some wonderful. And a feeling of needing to reconnect with them through ceremony. Thank you.

    Like

    • Deborah says:

      Thank you, Shannon. This BIG painting process is moving me! As is life in general…Perhaps a tree ceremony can strengthen our resolve and show us how to build an art and community project into an awakening event.

      Like

  2. lucyd says:

    Thank you! Beautiful words and image!! REminding me also of a time I was lost in the woods- with a child- and how I listened inside for the internal path, which directed me towards the external path home!

    Like

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