Enter the Time Warp, a Feeling of Disconnect and Disorientation

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Prints available

“Twigs and Twitters” 11 x 14 oil on canvas

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“Hut, Two, Three, Four” 8 x 10 drawing

We’ve all experienced dejavu, that weird sensation that you’ve “been here before” or that a face looks familiar in a crowd. Then there’s that out of body experience, when you suddenly feel like you’re living somebody else’s life. Your memories seem disjointed and you can’t figure out exactly where you are/were or when?

I’ll be out shopping and want to go to a favorite shop; a consignment store that has exactly what I want. When I try to remember its location, I realize the picture in my mind is located in a different city.

I’ve moved around a lot and lived in and traveled to many places. I’ve also had two divorces and three marriages. My children often seem far away and distant. In reality, they are because of miles and location. But the chasm widened when divorce shattered family ties.

My past experiences are all mixed up in a hodgepodge of disjointed memories. Hunger or lack of sleep can trigger these sensations and exaggerate the feelings of being disconnected and disoriented.

I call it “time warp,” when suddenly you feel like you’re living in another dimension, in someone else’s body, separate and apart. Thank goodness these ambiguous moments are short-lived. A good night’s sleep and adequate nutrition usually takes the edge off.

Living in the here and now keeps this fleeting freakiness from staying. Reality has a way of grounding us. Enjoying the present moment and making the most of each situation is a way to plant our feet on solid ground.

Discovering how to do this may happen quite by accident or by following your interests and passions. I found my perfect diversion in painting. A friend invited me to take an oil painting class with her long before I knew I could paint. It was like coming home. This wise friend knew that I needed to get away from the agony of an unhappy marriage, the circus that sometimes occurs while raising a family, and the chaos of hiding emotional pain.

As I explored and experimented on an empty canvas, I lost myself in the total absorption that it required. I forgot my troubles. I began to heal, and in the process equipped myself with a tool for getting away from my anguish, if only for a few hours.

Illness always reminds us of our Fragile Humanity

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Looking Outward (16 x 20) acrylic; frame: Old Window

Looking Outward (16 x 20) acrylic; frame: Old Window

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider one Christmas; a near fatal experience that increased my faith. I had severe bronchitis one year that ended up being the turning point for change in a long and difficult marriage.

This year it was traveling by plane to a wedding. Somewhere along the way I picked up a virus (no wonder when the plane was filled with crying, coughing children and barking dogs). I vowed I would never fly again during the holidays, but how could I miss my grandson’s wedding?

The festivities brought my three daughters and me together for the first time in years. Since all of us live great distances from each other, the wedding gave us a welcome chance to share stories and laughs.

The reunion also brought back treasured memories of my own mother who always shared her joy of life through laughter and tears. Relationships are the glue that heals all wounds. Without them, we would shrivel up inside.

During a difficult period in my life, my friend Alice gave me a prayer plant. “It will remind you of where your strength comes from,” she said. Sure enough, every evening as the sun went down, the prayer plant extended its leaves upward. I was reminded to turn to God more often, and I also remembered my friend.

When a move across country forced me to leave the plant behind, I photographed it. Sometime later, I created an oil painting of the plant sitting beside a garden glove and a trowel. The painting still hangs in my kitchen. Whenever I look at it, I remember my friend and her reminder to reach up in times of need. Her priceless gift of love was simple and inexpensive, but never forgotten.

My dear mother died of lung cancer and I will always regret not being there for her when she needed me most. I was working full time and would have lost my job and my home if I’d taken six months off to assist her. Looking back, I wish I’d have done it. I lost precious time being with her. Like my daughters, I was separated from my mother by time and distance.

Sometimes the things that matter most suffer by the things that matter least. What seems important at the time loses its value on close examination. People always matter more than things. Our possessions tarnish with time. Everything wears out with use. Love and the relationships that grow out of unconditional lasting love endure and weather the ups and downs of turbulence and trouble.