“Pink is my new frontier.”
~ participant in an intuitive painting workshop led by Chris Zydel
I remember when Pink became my new frontier. I was in my early 40s. I’d disliked and avoided the color my entire life. No pink kid dresses. Only one doll with a pink dress. She was not a fav. I could enjoy a pink rose, and I turned toward red or peachey toned flowers. I appreciated soft washes of the color when mixed with greens, ate off the china with pink flowers my mother gave me , but pink wasn’t a choice, ever.
Understand, COLOR is important to me. I see it like I smell aromas and taste foods with a thousand taste buds. Grasses are never simply brown or green. I can tell the color of an M&M in my mouth. I will change clothes if the color doesn’t feel right on my skin. So, pink was not simply something to like or dislike.
My relationship with it changed dramatically at a Monet exhibition. I stood immersed in Monet’s signature blues/greens/aquas on a round canvas. The colors were deep, intense. As my gaze drifted to the top right of the painting, I wasn’t prepared for the vibrant burst of pinks shaped loosely like a human heart. It physically & viscerally knocked me back a few steps. As if by electrical shock, or a shove by a sudden gust of wind. I staggered, stood in a daze, unsure what had happened. On my way out, I bought a snack at the small museum deli, entranced by the pink netting it was wrapped in. I hung the netting on my rear view mirror for the long drive home, where it stayed for months.
I was in a new frontier, uncharted terriroty with pink.
Frontier: a line or border separating two countries; the extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness; the extreme limit of understanding or achievement in a particular area.
We often enter new frontiers, tho we don’t think of them that way. We move to a new city or neighborhood. We start a new job or line of work. We change our style of dress, the sorts of earrings we wear, the sorts of ties and jackets we buy. We downsize or upsize our homes. We travel. Life delivers a blow, such as illness and we’re in new frontiers of pain, or loss and we’re in new frontiers of grief, or like me when my husband was run down by a car, new frontier of insurance and medical worlds. For artists and writers, when we follow the work, allow the dance floor of creativity to expand, every painting, story-poem-essay, creation is a new frontier. Heck, what’s happening across the globe, our knowledge and relationship to this changed world is a new frontier.
In every frontier, we can choose to explore, learn and adjust, expand who we are. Or stay same-same. Whether in comfort, resistance, or futile control. Even pull the horizons of the frontier to the boundary lines of what we know.
For me, why this, why now is because that painter’s statement about pink, and my remembering my own experience, made me realize I’m in a new frontier. And it lifted me from (confession) doubt. Back then I let pink show up in all its intense glory, didn’t water it down as a wash when it called. I experimented, bought a pink scarf, discovered I look really good in pink. Not coral, the color I typically went to when pink tapped me. I let myself live with it and decide, not react, what my relationship and interaction with it would be. I even let pink Beings show up in my paintings.
This may seem simple. And simple & safe are our best teachers for the bigger stuff.
I’ll tell you a story. Last week the little voice said ‘take your camera’ as I stepped out for my early morning walk. 3 blocks up is a 12 ft. rough carving of St. Francis out of a dead tree trunk. The style common here in Santa Fe. I stopped to take pictures. A raven lit on the edge of the branches closest to me in a tree to my right. Bent his head low, cawed. I told him he’s beautiful, and he gurgled, clicked, chattered. I’ve never heard them gurgle before, I thought. Then he flew to the tree on my left, did the same. I felt satisfied with myself. This bird wanted to talk to me. Ravens remember faces. I wondered if he was the bird I’d seen another time that flew from the tip-top of a very tall tree to the middle branches so he could observe me better.
He then flew to a tree 20 ft up the road. As I caught up, he flew to a tree 30 ft. further on, landed on a sawed off limb with no cover of leaves. He sat silently for minutes, me standing below in the road, before he flew to a pole where I could see him. Too far for me to catch up.
Not until a friend exclaimed there’s a message in that last landing did I see it. My new frontier is not the work I’m doing. I’ve done it for decades. Nor is it simply showing up as All of me, adding the words deep intuition to my job description on my website. (it’s one of my greatest Super Powers, for Jiminy’s sake) Nor is it expanding what I do to thousands of people. Or exploring new ways of recovering things that matter to me, like writing fiction in longhand, because this busy-ness of my current life requires it. My new frontier is going out on a limb like I’ve never done before. Choosing the broad open field of the sky as my arena and horizons, and staking my place in it. Having faith I’m here for a reason, and I can meet it. Faith is my new frontier. What a new way of thinking that is.
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
Tell me. . .what frontiers have you entered? How did it feel?
I’ll tell you a secret. . .I’d be lying if I didn’t say this new frontier is both exciting and scary.
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