Friday, August 12, 2011

A Shared Story...

I’m always fascinated when I find out a story that’s behind a scene I have painted. This story is ties in with the swing on 100 Salt Lake City Porch painting #61, which is interesting because it was the swing in front that drew me to their porch.

"100 Salt Lake City Porches, No.61"; A Poured Watercolor on 10" x 14" Paper

The story was recently shared to me from the porch owner, a woman who is inspiring. She’s a mother and breast cancer survivor who has started a non-profit yoga classes for cancer survivors called “A Quality Life Community”. The story she shared is called Abigail’s Swing. They ended up putting the swing in the front yard after they built a garage in the place of a swing set. But Abigail still needed some where to swing, and thus, the swing was hung from the tree in the front yard. Here’s the story as written wonderfully by this inspiring woman and Abigail's mom …

Abigail’s Swing

When the world gets too noisy for my daughter, she retreats to her swing or to a rocking chair. She puts everything else on hold, then rocks it into perspective. Or perhaps she prefers to be part of the audience, not a participant. In either case, she has always done this, since the moment she could sit up independently.

Me, I’m a bouncer. I bounce against the backs of couches, love to rock in rocking chairs, and recall, as a child, the transition of outgrowing my swing set as difficult. I loved my swing set and consider my time spent swinging a significant period in my life. Like Abigail, I loved watching my brothers and sister play. I liked being in the audience once in a while, not always interactive. Swinging was my moving meditation.
Abigail can swing for hours at a time. She needs to think, and this is her place.

“I need to take a break, Mom,” she’ll suddenly say to me.


I would have no idea what was jarring her world, but I understood her need instinctively.

“Have fun. I’ll call you when dinner is ready.”

Moving backward and forward helps her mind open up to imagination, to the clouds, to the sky where her mind takes her body to fly. She loves watching kids play. She loves watching her brother entertain the other kids. She loves being the audience to his performances. Swinging is her moving meditation, too. It’s a peaceful place for her to think. Seeing the good and feeling the peace.

This movement of back and forth has helped her cope with any perceived stress she experienced.

“I lose my mind,” she told me once.

“I feel like a cloud floating in the sky. When I look backward, it feels like I am flying.”

Then we were building a garage, and half of the swing set was in pieces. It doesn’t balance right and she frets.
“I miss being on the swing.”

1 comment:

Mark Brand said...

Amy is an inspirational woman. Her house is a home. I'm glad you painted it and shared her story so I get to see an enjoy more of your art