The Illustration Friday word of the week is sky.
Think about it…in all the tales, in all the stories old and new, there is always somewhere else that the hero or heroine can escape to (and sometimes, yes, it’s the sky.) And if circumstances are especially dire, there is always something or someone who comes to the rescue.
But what if there were no place to escape to, and nothing to rescue that heroine…what then? Would the situation be hopeless, would “suicide be a viable option,” as one of my friends liked to cynically joke? Would that heroine’s life have come to a dead-end, the end of the story?
The American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, writes in The Wisdom of No Escape: and the Path of Loving-Kindness, “…that each of us has all it takes to become fully enlightened. We have basic energy coursing through us.” Pema is not the only spiritual teacher to state in no uncertain terms (but kindly) that the rescuer, the somewhere else, is found within…and that there is a purpose to those stuck places that we come to over and over again in the course of our lives.
My first choice of painting for this post had two rescuers, both from the sky…a ghostly, kindly figure and a small bird flying down in a boat. Hooray, saved! But thinking some more about this whole subject of escape and rescue, I realized that my perspective has been changing over the years. I’m beginning to suspect that we are expected and equipped (probably even encouraged) to find the way–the magic if you will–to rescue ourselves…that it’s all “an inside job.”
Darn. Deep breath. Take the next step…
“Escape of the Red House” (watercolor, pen & ink, colored pencil, gouache)