Before I get into the meat of this post, let me just say that I have been on edge and emotionally struggling for a few days. I won’t bore you with the reasons, suffice it to say that sometimes there are valleys that come upon my brain that require patience and activity to help pull out of them.
So I was working hard this morning, putting mulch around one of my many garden beds. It’s not a task I really like although every year it seems to get more and more difficult to get myself revved up to do it. However, I was forking and throwing and spreading with the best of them, listening to the birds, and feeling the breeze when the peace was broken by the unbelievably loud report of a rifle.
I have absolutely no knowledge of guns, but I’m guessing it was a black powder rifle. It came from my neighbor’s property and was quickly followed by two more shots, then a pause, then a couple more reports. This went on for a good 20 minutes. After the first shot I started cussing at the top of my lungs (not my finest moment, but it sure felt good.) My peace was ruined and I had no control over why it was happening. It was simply my neighbor’s moment to skeet or target shoot in his yard. And the way the sound travels here in the country, him being on a hill that more or less faces me, I could hear it like it was right next to me.
Now I realize that guns are a sensitive issue, especially right now. And I also realize that they are not always evil things. However, bear with me while I let off some steam here.
You see, the reaction I have to such a overwhelmingly loud sound in my backyard is an immediate, visceral and violent flinch. And then I get angry. I moved out here because it’s quiet. I lived next to a major highway for 17 years and I enjoy walking out of my house and hearing…birds, insects, farm animals…the occasional tractor or lawnmower. I did not realize that I would have Rambo moving next door to me who would delight in testing out his many hunting rifles.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against hunters (okay, maybe I do, but that’s for another post). They do keep the deer population down and around here that’s not a bad thing for several reasons. It just bothers me that you can shoot targets on your property as long as you want and it doesn’t matter how much it bothers the neighbors.
So what does this have to do with art in my daily life? That is a very good question and one I have been pondering all day. How does something that is so personally disturbing be a piece of art? I still don’t have the answer but perhaps, just perhaps, the trick is to breathe through it, then go back to being in the moment of art, find the thing that brings a smile back to my face, lets me relax into my body again and releases the anger into something more productive then cursing out my neighbor at the top of my lungs.
Ahhhhhhh….a buttercup! I have been wanting to capture the field of buttercups that springs up at the bottom of the hill for years now…here it is, or at least the couple of pix that I took before my camera battery died.
I’d love to hear any words of wisdom you might have about this.