This oil painting captures a pivotal moment in my life while camping in Utah. At the time, I was struggling through a major life trial that shook the foundations of my identity. I pitched my tent close to the water in Big Bend, and as I sat by the river beneath the moonlit kayenta cliffs, I finally felt peace and acceptance. I felt something heavy at my core shift and unlodge, like a cork popped from a bottle. Needing to memorialize this significant moment, I picked up a paintbrush for the first time in nearly a decade, and never put it down.
Six years and thousands of brush strokes later, on the verge of saying “I do” to the love of my life, I decided it was time to update this piece, to capture the joy of the journey that first moment sparked. Within it is my ecstatic celebration of all we endure, the beauty and pain, the light and shadow, the sorrow that enlightens, and the joy of being. When I think of this piece now, the quote from Rumi often comes to mind, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Please enjoy this piece of my heart.