The Perfect Moment
Mostly, my mandalas are more of abstract projections from my inner self. I think that is “supposed” to be their purpose from the original Art Therapy assignment. And as such, they work…I spill out onto the paper, mostly able to keep within the confines of the circle…sometimes, spilling out all over the place. And what I do works…as in, the AT can take one look at a particular mandala and tag the feelings that I was spilling. In a way, I lay it all out there. And last week…when I was so depressed and numb…I had no feelings for a couple of day…and no mandalas.
Once in a while, I draw a mandala like today’s, where something happened or I felt something that I want to record. It is not the opening spilling…but more of a celebration of a feeling that I want to keep and be able to look back on….and to revisit that feeling and let it rise into my heart again.
I have a friend who is very dear to my heart. We are kindred in a way that I haven’t experienced with anyone else. I have known her since I was 15 and she was 14 and had just moved into my school district. We were in chorus together…that was where it all began…Chorus class. And we are still close friends today. Our friendship has weathered some pretty major storms….Really, it is too complicated and emotional to properly explain…but there was a long time where we never spoke as her husband kind of banned her from seeing me and then she and her family moved across the country. We didn’t talk for…10 years? I don’t know…It seemed like forever and I mourned the loss as though she had died…only it was harder than that because she was perfectly alive…just unavailable. In retrospect, I really wish I had handled it differently and tried harder to stay in touch…but I was not the person I am now…and did what I thought was best at the time.
Eventually, my friend moved back to this state and we reconnected and then I had to withdraw, too afraid of being hurt again. But again we reconnected because I decided the risks did not outweigh the importance of the friendship and the love I feel for my friend. And accepting the risk and allowing myself to be vulnerable has helped me grow in a lot of ways.
So, my friend lives about an hour away. But over the weekend, she was visiting her parents’ house which is about 30 minutes away, and she invited me over for a morning walk. Of course, I went! And we walked up through the woods, stopping as I took some pictures or when we saw some amazing lichen or brilliant red leaves that had fallen off the maple trees onto the ground. We tasted small, sweet apples from an ancient apple tree…recognizing hints of flavors we knew…but unable to place exactly what kind of apple it might be. We found tracks of deer and crossed the little stream. Our shoes were wet from dew and water and the air was crisp and clear and cool.
After our walk, we settled out back on her parents’ deck…The sun was warm, the breeze was soft, but constant and lovely. And we talked. We talked about nothing and we talked about everything. Kids, teen sex, husbands, Art Therapy, loneliness, depression, memories, beauty, waffles,caterpillars, etc. And we also didn’t talk about lots of things too…but sat in that companionable safety of knowing if…just if, we wanted to talk about really hard things…the option was there and the listener would be accepting.
I think that is the most wonderful thing about this friendship for me. My friend doesn’t want anything from me. I mean, yes…she wants to spend time with me and we help each other out…But she doesn’t want anything but me…just who I am. It is unconditional acceptance. She knows I am not perfect and she doesn’t care. She sees something in me that I only wish I could see…maybe it is the same thing I see in her…but it makes our relationship enduring…even through rough times.
So, I spent time with her on her parents’ deck, the sun warming my back, the view warming my eyes and my friend warming my heart. And it was safe and I was safe. It was the perfect moment over and over again until we finally had to set the moment aside and return to the goings on of the day.
So…that is what today’s mandala represents…Friendship, love, safety. warmth, nature, acceptance, healing, growth, and understanding.