Discomfort, apprehension and pain are not meaningless. They can be signals of a crossroad, a place of choice, a defining moment, a transition from one phase of life to the next. One cannot know who they will be on the other side of the crossroads or how the world will receive them once through. These moments are meaningful, can be powerful and are often painful, difficult and confusing. Intensity and discomfort are the guides and guardians of these passages and yet these helpers are often demonized and avoided in contemporary culture. These difficult guides can serve as navigators of the unknown, the shadow, the path that seems impossible, the transformation that is the nature of the crossroads.
Our ancestors recognized the importance of these moments as rites of passage. They created story, ritual, and art to contextualize the mythic nature of our journey. That practice contrasts greatly to the culture today. Women are expected to defy the signs of aging. Weddings and births are treated as businesses rather than sacred thresholds. This is a symptom of a culture out of touch with the power of the human journey. How does an adolescent know how to become an adult, an adult become a parent, or a spouse, and eventually an elder when transitions are ignored or lost. There is an expectation to keep things pretty and controlled. These pivotal changes in life are not meant to be pretty or tame, they are meant to,as Joseph Cambell says, “leave one condition, and find the source of life to bring into a richer more mature condition”.
In this series I seek to shed the skin of restraining culture, to dissolve the flawless pain-free life, and make space for a new self to come forward. The new self carries a wisdom and understanding that was unavailable to the previous. I work to mark the many deaths and rebirths of life. I use primal symbols and the landscape of the stars to tap into the time when challenges of the human journey where honored and seen. Calling that wisdom into present day, I am driven to show the sacred beauty that exists in the moments of change and vulnerability. I want to remember my mystical nature and invoke the courage to face the mythic forces in my life.