Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Labyrinth

The idea of a labyrinth has intrigued me for quite a while.  Labyrinths seem to keep popping up along  my journey.  Several years ago, after taking my teen-aged daughter to a concert, we walked the rock labyrinth at the Community Garden in Comstock, Nebraska.  Years later, I stumbled upon a blog by Joannah L. Merriman, M.A., a holistic psychologist, counselor, and writer in Fort Collins, Colorado (lifeprintsjournal.com) She has a labyrinth on her property and encourages full moon serenity walks--the next one is this Sunday, October 4th at 7pm.  I searched for more information about the circular meditations after discovering a classical labyrinth in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE.  The Labyrinth Society (source of image above, with permission) lists 15 sites in Nebraska.  I recently visited the 11 circuit medieval labyrinth outside the Methodist Church in North Platte, NE.  There was no wind on that bright September day, and it was almost too warm.  I was hungry, but energized after painting with a friend--the first watercolor I'd attempted in ages!  I thought I'd just run through this labyrinth to see what it was like.  But, even with the guy watching from his porch across the street,  I got caught up in the process and amazed at the 1/4-1/2 circle balance.  Rather than just absently following the path, I found myself analyzing the next move, wondering what those Christians of the Middle Ages thought about as they followed their path in the Chartres Cathedral, and actually feeling relaxed and refreshed as I came out of the center.

"At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are."

So, when that watercolor painting I'd started needed more depth and interest, I took out the old compass from my college design courses and executed some concentric circles--not really in the true labyrinth style, but with that feeling in mind... which led to painted-tissue-collaged lines and checkerboard patterns inspired from my recent exploration with Frank Lloyd Wrght's ideas on graph paper (see post from July 18).  Sometimes my thought processes are pretty random, but I love the layers in this finished product.  It's already framed (20"x16")!  Now I'm ready to try more watercolor.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I recently walked the labyrinth at the Y in Estes Park. It is very run down and doesn't appear to be used much except by the elk.

I also walked the one the Presbyterian church has here. It is a canvas one that they lay out in the gym. It is very nice and can be transported anywhere. It is painted on heavyweight canvas.