Friday, August 26, 2011

Divine Roots

I recently found myself back in the neighborhood where it all began: an historic, charming section of Brooklyn, NY called Park Slope.  "It" meaning, Divine Rooms.

Streetscape. Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
Amongst the rows of beautiful brownstones, I took a break from painting and just sat on the stoop to take it all in.  I began feeling quite moved by all of my memories that came rushing back, without want or will.  "Transported" is a great word to describe this feeling.  It's an incredible experience to have the past, present and future all merge into one moment.  About 14 years ago, this is the place where Divine Rooms came to be.  (And incidentally, right at the corner, Methodist Hospital, was where I gave birth to my other "baby," my precious son.)

I knew, without a doubt that I was standing (or stooping, rather) on very fertile ground.

Before the business came to be, 1997 was a roller coaster.  An uncertain, rocky year in my life.  But it was a good year, one that ultimately changed my destiny as it led to the discovery of my true calling. A bit of the experience was captured in an article I wrote for NY Resident, and it is a story I love to share.  

While sitting on this stoop and feeling transported, I remembered the greatest lesson: the most beautiful things are happening to us during the "in-between" stages of life.  The symbolism of a "hallway" is a pretty good one.  Sometimes these hallways, or passages are disguised as boredom, indecision, searching, longing... Ironically, these fertile, powerful times are often faced with impatience and discomfort.  Swift changes, endings, confusion, even darkness.  Yet they somehow always lead to something special.  Something better.  You can never really see it while you're really in it.  It's as if your soul moves your vision out of focus.  Things are blurry and non-distinct.  If you cannot see, how can you move forward?  How can you actually do anything?

Ahhh.... that's kinda the point, isn't it?

An enlightened moment captured during a recent trip to Spain.
Wide awake, ready for action and forced to sit still.
Not an easy lesson for a "mover and a shaker."

The past few months have been challenging for me.  Quite familiar and quite reminiscent of 1997.  My life looked like it was going to change.  And I was ready to leave and start over again. Reinvent myself.  Do something else.  Things happened that were ultimately beyond my control to support these ideas.  The economic climate was nudging me as well.

I felt like a plane ready to take off.  Fully loaded and fueled.  Just idling in the tarmac.  A strange cocktail of frustration and curiosity was pretty much on the menu everyday, for months.  But this time around, I knew from experience that this was also a magical time... and something great was going on behind the scenes.  I had no choice but to remain patient and have faith.  I had to trust the unseen hand was moving me forward, even though there was no detectable movement.

That day, I looked down at my paint covered hands, and up at the tiny slip of blue sky visible between the narrow streets of brown sugar-colored stately architecture and it all made sense.  My roots are here, and my branches are strong.  An inner knowing washed over me, and I sensed I am exactly where I need to be.  I came full circle, and journeyed right back to the place where I belong.  For now.

Self-portrait and self-realized together with a work-in-progress.
Also that day, together with the brilliant and talented Jenn Danza, a stunning mural was born.  A nursery.  A baby-to-be.  A crisp, sunny summer afternoon.  All was well.  All always is.

And then that weekend, magic happened too.  The answer to a long-standing challenge arrived... with swiftness and precision, my world shifted.  I was rewarded for my faith.  Things fell into place.  And it was Divine.  Once again, a tree grows in Brooklyn.

Tree Mural for Baby's nursery.  Crib will be placed just to the left of
the trunk.  The carved heart features the initials of the parents.

Art truly does imitate life.  In very magical, symbolic ways.  And now it's back to the future...



  1. I love how you aptly described the in-between stages of our lives. I can so relate and I’m going through it again. It seems to come in 10 year cycles for me. I will definitely save this. Thank you. Your words gave me some clarity as to what I’m experiencing. I just need to remember to relax now!


  2. Yes, I agree, it does come in cycles. Numerologists would say 9 year patterns, so you're right on. Keep the faith, Amy!

  3. A beautiful painting! Your fracturing technique makes the painting so interesting. Also

    enjoyed seeing what others have done with it. I'm loving your blog!

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