The Dark Corners of the Mind

Gosh. Time passes SO slowly when you’re not well, doesn’t it? The last month I’ve been fighting a bacterial infection. Control over bad thoughts, cohesive speech (and thus the blog), went out the window.

Somehow painting didn’t, though. Painting is so integrated as part of my wellbeing now that I can’t go too long without it. I haven’t had much energy, so I’ve focused on small tasks, mostly finishing up nearly-done paintings. It’s allowed me to review themes that are occurring in my work. Whales have been relentless.

The Sea is Creeping in. 2013

Considering the layers underneath–the history of the picture–was interesting, too. If a whale hijacked what was a picture of a tiger, I know I should pay attention (not quite adding the highlights to an eye, hmm?). A forest turned into a whale, too. And a still life of vegetables. Eh? What are the whales telling me? Those elegant, calm beasts suspended in the dark corners of the earth have something to say, it seems.

You can get carried away with metaphors, of course, but there is something about whales that signifies a dive into consciousness. Perhaps the underwater metaphors are a hangover from David Lynch’s Catching the Big Fish, which I read at a time meditation was really starting to work for me. Lynch taught me to fall well, to go deeper, to not be afraid of the darkest corners.

In progress (detail)
whales detail 2
In progress (detail)








Here’s something like-minded that’s singing to me this week. Learning from the dark places. Diving into the sadness, when it comes. Letting it open us to bigger things, teach us our stories.


  1. Read this the other day and have been pondering it since. Sometimes it’s very difficult to dive deep, impossible even. The whales are a beautiful, encouraging metaphor: mammals that know what they’re doing even at the deepest depths of the ocean. I think I needed to read this one ;)

    by g
  2. Easy to get confounded by the middlemen. All the thoughts, voices, beliefs, fear. But then there are those rare and beautiful moments where you’re past them and you can really dive. It almost always happens where you are doing something not in your head but in your body, where you’re swept away from thought and into those aha moments, those clear insights. I imagine working the land gives you those gems, G? Working the land, working the self.

    by romy zunde
  3. Yep, you’re right :) They come out of nowhere while your body’s focused on work. Fear is the killer, but it’s never around when I’m out doing stuff.

    by g