Friday, April 18, 2008

Inspiration To Fly

It occasionally happens while I am painting that there is a moment of impasse and I must choose to either continue working in a way I know but that is not proving successful, or else, go into the unknown. Choosing the unknown is fearsome, and yet frequently, something happens—a fresh impulse comes through and a new experience is born. It is like a young bird forced out of the safe nest it has always known. Suddenly it is falling through the air and must fly, never having known what it is to float on currents of air, but a deep yearning takes hold and flight is born.
The first days in Corfu were like getting acquainted, and then came an impasse. Corfu Town is lovely, with cobbled streets, and many reminders of the Venetian culture that occupied it for centuries. Yet I wanted more and decided to rent a car and get out of the city. The first day, I drove in rain and could only look through the windshield. When I returned to my hotel, I flopped down on my bed in frustration. The next day, the rain stopped and sun arrived. Heading north, I became lost on winding mountain roads, and decided to go into the unknown, where THE DREAM lives. Although I was lost, every turn held a surprise, and somehow I felt I had found my destiny. Villages dotted the hills, with roads through them that can barely accommodate two tiny cars to pass by each other. Olive orchards abounded, standing as they have for centuries. Spring flowers bloomed magnificently in the wild, so that I could not pass by, but rather stopped and walked among them. Then, as I came around a bend through wooded hills, an old wall covered in vines and a half open gate made me stop. Peering through the gate, amid an area of tall grass and wildflowers, a old stone building stood empty and open. I felt like a gift had been given, and walked gingerly, aware that I could browse undisturbed and would not bother anyone. To my amazement, the place was an abandoned church over a thousand years old. Inside, in the half-darkened room, I could see hand hewn beams supported the intact roof, while the cracked and damaged plastered walls showed remains of Byzantine Christian images. It felt incredible to my American eyes, unaccustomed to seeing artwork 600 years old except in museums. The more I lingered, the more I felt a special experience unfolded; I stood suspended between centuries, and THE DREAM provided me the inspiration to fly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steven After reading your very descriptive words made me feel as though I was there!Then to see this photo!Incredible that you found it so intact!Beautiful!I know it must have been difficult to leave??