Where There is the Guise of Safety

My nest work continues. I’ve moved into oil painting with them and have on the easel right now, a still life with; nest, my favourite little golden bowl and a small brown egg. In bed last night as our bodies and minds settled down, I asked my husband: “How long before an egg goes bad outside of the refrigerator?” His response: “You probably won’t know unless you drop it.”

Still life with nest, bowl, egg. Set up and ready to go.
Still life setup with nest, bowl and egg.

A curious thought occurs to me – is the nest a reflection of what I am doing and/or want to do in life? Am I actually nesting?

My favourite place in the world is home right now. It hasn’t always been – when I lived in View Royal and was single, my favourite place was the Esquimalt Lagoon. I painted and played there – a few romances included and I spent untold hours walking in meditation with Thich Nhat Hahn along the slippery path beside the lagoon and up into the neighbourhood. I learned how to create a safe, warm and comforting place within my own self on that beach. With years and marriage and a new home between then and now, I see and feel that I’ve externalized a lot of my comfort.

In Colorado, I made each of my apartments and house my nest along with a routine of life drawing in a small art school which gave me repetitious, constant comfort. In Utah I lived in a hotel for 2 weeks and then in an empty apartment for a month before my belongings made their way down. I remember immediately feeling more myself when my things arrived – it wasn’t even a lot of stuff – but there were within it little reminders of who I am and where I’ve been. Aren’t we all made up of a collection of disparate memories, knowledge and hopes? My nest had arrived.

I am a person of routine and I am always comfort-seeking. I take a lot of my comfort from my husband and home now but I still have to gather within myself the pieces and parts which make me, me. Perhaps the nest is my perfect metaphor.

Or maybe I just like the feel and balance of messy line work which leads up to a finished, tighter image or self; externalized.

However, our town home is not somewhere that Andrew or I ever imagined ourselves living, let alone nesting. It is so much more upscale than we were used to but it makes so much financial investment and artistic space sense that it just works. And yet it is tenuous because it does push our financial boundaries. If one shoe falls, we may have to abandon the space for a much smaller nest. (Cross your fingers it doesn’t). You can, however, say that about any home we would own OR rent. We all (mostly) have to pay those bills and learn to live with the fact that the nest could fall apart at any time – and that knowledge is a process of letting go even if it doesn’t happen.

The looseness of the lines perhaps reflects the tenuous nature of anyone’s employment, relationships, life situations. We all live on the edge of it all unraveling into a mass of twigs and we all have the capability of walking away with comfort within ourselves.

Still Life With Nest, Oil on board, 12" x 24"

 

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