As an artist, there is one thing that stands out in everything we see, that is the beauty. Even though there are things all around us trying to take away from the beauty, the beauty we see is always there and then comes all the thoughts as we are painting. Well, at least that's what happens to me. As this painting was beginning to take shape and the thoughts begin to whirl around in my head, especially with the events of late here at the end of 2014, I saw this as a look into the past and future of our ever changing culture.
I entitled this piece "Beyond Slavery" particularly because, I was under the impression we had moved past that. Apparently though, some are still stuck there, dragging the bitterness around on a daily basis and trying to infect us all with hatred. My heart goes out to those who are determined not only to drag themselves down but are also trying to take all of us down with them. These are the ones that walk around with a ball and chain, dragging their feet from the heaviness of bitterness, seeking revenge and destruction of anyone that might get in their way.
Take a close look at this painting; The field is empty, because we have moved on. Yes, most of us have moved on, most of us are living in the now and striving for a better future. We have moved from the field to the promise of a lovelier day, a wonderful day, a gorgeous sky full of beauty, promise and possibilities.
As in all of our lives, there have been failures and there have been mistakes. Just as we are thankful for the flowers, we have to be thankful for the mud. Just as we are thankful for the accomplishments, we have to be thankful for the failures and what each failure taught us. If you are afraid to try, you will never go anywhere, you will never taste the life that God has given you, you will never reach your full potential. We all must experience some failures and some mistakes to get there.
But, once you have made it past a certain point, then leave it there. Remember the failure, only for the lesson it taught you. The heartaches, the disappointments, the mistakes have brought us all to the point we are at today, right now, at this very moment. Rise above it and look past the point where we once were (the cotton field) and into the bright, beautiful sky of the now and the future. If we dwell in the past, we dishonor our ancestors and forefathers who fought the battles and made the mistakes for us to learn from. If you act like a criminal, you either want to be one or think it’s your destiny for some reason. Why? "Gird up you loins" as God put it and be who you are meant to be, use the mistakes of others as your teacher. The hard work and burdens carried by generations before us were not intended to create bitterness, they were intended to create Freedom!
We can remain enslaved by our bitterness or we can grow a pair of wings and fly far away from it.
I'm not stuck in the cotton field. Are you?