Last month I shared my story of being plunged into the underworld and how art became therapeutic for me. Please check out Past Musings if you missed it. After coming back up to the ‘upper world’ once again I found myself standing at a threshold.
This is the next painting I did after recovering from the emotional shock of the diagnosis. It is called: Standing at the Threshold.
A threshold is an archetype, or symbol for being at a transitional place in once’s life. We don’t always know what will be on the other side when at a threshold place. It also marks a new beginning. The custom of carrying the bride over the threshold is about the beginning of a whole new life as a couple.
In many traditions, people bless the doorway or threshold. Once when I was in Tobago, a small island in the Caribbean, I attended a church service there. It was an open air church, with pews set up inside and no doors. At every doorway I noticed that an ‘x’ had been placed on the floor of the entry. When I asked about it, I was told that ” it kept bad energies from coming inside the church.” Watching all the residents enter, I noticed they all bent down and touched that mark on the floor before coming in, not unlike The Catholic tradition of “crossing” themselves.
Thresholds places are liminal places. You are not here nor there. It is like crossing a bridge from one place to another. I often think about The Fool card from the Tarot deck. The fool has his leg up as if taking the next step. But the next step is empty space. He is looking upward toward the heavens, trusting that all will be well on his journey. He has his dog at his feet, a symbol of the instinctual nature, so he will know what ( where ) to step next – and he has his pack on his shoulder which is all he needs for his next journey in life.
This is the place I was in when I painted “Standing at the Threshold”. I felt as if I had lots of choices but not sure of my direction. It was like having a whole new way to choose in life, but I wasn’t sure what that would be! Like the fool, it was time to step off that cliff and trust that I would know the way. Not that I didn’t wrestle with fear, and all that…but the process of overcoming that meant walking in faith, imagining that I had everything I needed for the next step, although unknown at the time.
We all have been in this place as life just does that to us. At the crossroads of big decisions, or little ones, taking chances or pushing through something’s that seems hard at the time, we must each make that next step. This painting is about this unknown place. I love that there’s lots of light shining down on the person, again symbolic of all the invisible help that we have but can’t see. Standing at the Threshold is still available for sale. Please let me know if this is a piece that needs to be in your life as a reminder that thresholds are about new adventures!
P.S. Last month I told you that someone would win a 10 x 10 painting. I had a few glitches getting this launched so I am extending the offer. Go to my Facebook page: connierodriguezArt to see the painting and select “like”. I will put your name in the hat and announce who you are on Facebook.