Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Positive Flash [Mixed Media, 16”x20”]

I last posted about this painting on January 12.   It was beginning to feel like a storm landscape and I’ve taken it further along those lines…  but kept it very abstracted.  Ozone
Storms lean heavily towards abstraction for me.  It’s interesting to dwell for a moment or two on the positive aspects of thunderstorms:
  • Thunderstorms are a direct result of atmospheric heating and increased air convection. Thunderstorms and also hurricanes are a primary cooling mechanism for the earth
  • Thunderstorms provide water to vegetation and also to lakes and reservoirs. Storms provide about 50 percent of the rainfall to the eastern United States, and 70 percent to the western US.
  • Storm winds distribute seeds and pollen, and help remove old and weak vegetation and so make way for new growth
  • Lightning strikes liberate nitrates which fertilize the soil. Lightning produces about 20 percent of the nitrogen to the soil per year, about 250,000 tons of nitrogen to the whole earth every year
  • Additionally, the updrafts and other wind effects remove large amounts of pollution, transporting it aloft, as well as storm rainfall washing pollution out of the air
    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_benefits_of_thunderstorms#ixzz1kPsQO1vJ
I’ve been pondering the similarities between thunderstorms and the storms of personal experience.  Here’s an example of how my thoughts ran as I painted this week…  managing back pain and fatigue has been taking up way too much of my time!!!!!  As I returned to a diligent pacing regimen [proper rest, more exercise, LESS SITTING!!!], I feel a kinship to this painting.  We have had a rather stressful several months, and a very fun-filled fall 2011 – but it was exhausting.  Apparently I needed the forced rest and the personal growth that never fails to come when I watch my health more closely.  All the features of grief apply to this loss of health I’ve experience since 2005: denial, pain & guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance.  These 5 in a continuous loop with shorter and shorter stops in the first 4 and longer periods of acceptance.  The analogy of the storm provides these benefits personally lately:
  • I’ve taken the time to cool off and regroup my thoughts [cooling]
  • I’ve paid attention to my mental and spiritual needs [rain]
  • This storm blew through unannounced but, admittedly it was not a surprise…  It’s blown seeds or thought around and helped me prioritize some activities.  [wind]
  • Jolts of pain wake me up and cause me to live more simply and intentionally.  Also, that pain makes the soil of my life more fertile [lightning]. 
  • In general, my back pain can [as much as it hurts to admit it], remove the junk from my life like the wind and rain purify the earth and atmosphere. 
Here’s the rub…  to get the positives out of the storm we have to have faith and trust that they are there and get busy looking for them.  I suppose I should get started on that :-)


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