This is my first post since the death of my father March 7, 2014, and although I have had much to express, the intensity of the emotional chaos leaves me feeling less than coherent. Fortunately, I can always rely on the mandala process to create a little stillness in the midst of the wildest storms. The “major” mandalas show up with strong intention, concept first (“Transition Mandala” most recently) and the imagery comes to support the intention. In contrast, the “minor” mandalas are simply freestyle, an 8″ X 8″ piece of watercolor paper and a circle, and whatever transpires inside is celebrated.
As this piece progressed, I “heard” the title (“Crown of Thorns”) and wondered about the relevance. Continuing to paint, the awareness grew…with sufficient time (at least three days) and substantial elevation changes (higher perspective)…my pain transforms into gratitude, something of beauty that can be enjoyed.
The journey through the last four years, watching my charismatic, brilliant, powerful, kind and loving father disappear slowly into the abyss of dementia exhausted me energetically, emotionally and physically. The last two weeks while he was on Hospice, I had to come to terms with the fact there was nothing else I could do for him.
Now he is free, with his God and my Mom, and my feelings about the experience begin to shift to thankfulness that I was able to spend this precious time with him and learn to love him in a new, and somehow deeper, way. As I sort through what he left behind, I see his legacy is love, respect, generosity, discipline and humor, and I feel blessed all over again.
I’m glad “Crown of Thorns” could help me get my feelings expressed.