Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 17 Atomic Revelations

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"Everything outside was elegant and savage and fleshy. Everything inside was slow and cool and vacant. 

It seemed a shame to stay inside." 

~John Cheever

My house and home have been in various states of flux for the last several years. Life teases me with the duality of trepidation & expectation  of "empty nest syndrome."  I have been reading that our mandalas reflect the phases of our lives. Although it was not intentional I am pretty sure that upon evaluation I will find that this one reflect all of the feelings that come with hovering on the axis of that transition. I pivot between full house with too many obligations/commitments and reflective, pondering, silence.   

It was a beautiful fall day yesterday. Warm enough to work outside. Between periods of requisite horizontal time, I worked on scraping paint off of my porch and trim. It must be done this year. It has taken be approximately four weeks to prep for painting. It is a small porch and should have only taken a couple of days. Fincher's mandala color theory suggests that the yellow and purple hues I have used here reflect the "clash between the desire for independence and the habit of relying on the parents." 

Since I have been independent of my parents for 20+ years, I interpret this more as a struggle to function independent of the restriction of arachnoiditis. The ebb and flow of independent motion is a constant. I feel it most in the spring and fall. As the weather transitions rapidly from warm to cold or back again, I find myself on the arachnoiditis roller coaster which accompanies these sudden shifts. 

"Blue (nurturing) next to orange (striving) may symbolize the conflict between a desire for relatedness and the ambition to accomplish." ~Fincher
 As any working parent knows, our career goals and our family obligations continuously present a dual sense of purpose. I doubt I will ever stop striving toward creative excellence. In equal measure I am certain that home and family will always be at the center of that. 
Working to prepare my house for winter brings out the "nesting" sensibilities and sensitivities which balance my studio & career ambitions.  

For the purposes of this project, I have applied the suspension of disbelief so that I may remain open to the possibilities of self-reflection and growth inherent to this process. I find that if we look at things from a new perspective we may discover the truth within ourselves. In drawing this 17th mandala, I began with the central shape of a circle. Inside of the circle was a five- pointed star.  I boxed in the star. To me, in that moment, the box resembled the house outline I used to draw as a child-as most children do. I removed the branches of the star to leave the five-sided center hovering in the heart of the house. Above it I place a small circle to represent the upstairs window. I remember always feeling that the houses that I drew needed this window in order to let the world in. Sometimes now, I believe that window lets me get into the world. 

As I interpret my drawings this month, I think it is crucial to remember the life-time of meaning associated with certain symbols as well as the thoughts and feelings I was having during the drawing process. These elements combined with the theory behind mandala interpretation and analysis become a fundamental aspect of using the mandala as a healing tool. 

Upon reflection, I have to mention that my significant other saw the drawing at the beginning and mentioned the similarity to Bohr's Atomic Model. This is apparently something that people learn in basic chemistry. In our visual culture I am sure that this imagery is evident in many forms. Although I have never take chemistry, his statement, of course, made me think of imagery for nuclear concepts which may have triggered a subconscious tangent to the ideology of the nuclear family...I can easily see that my emotions and thoughts of the day are evident here as I placed my home at the nucleus of my external activity. 

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