This symbol came to me this morning upon waking. It was literally drawn for me and I saw the image of a raindrop along with it. There was also a familiar song in my head. Afterward the element of water was mentioned and then a single word: Grief. So that is the name I gave the painting.
The song playing in my head was Wait it Out by Imogen Heap. The specific part of the song going through my mind was, “Everybody says, that time heals everything. But what of the wretched hollow? The endless in-between? Are we just going to wait it out? There’s nothing to see here now.”
Here’s the song if you want to listen. There’s even a TED Talks of this song, which I found to be powerful.
As I painted the symbol I felt an emptiness, but no grief. I got to know the emptiness a little through this painting. I have felt the emptiness my entire life but never sat with it for any length of time. What I found interesting is that there is a comfortableness, a familiarity, that comes with the emptiness. Like a warm blanket wrapped around me.
Interestingly, it reminded me of a song I wrote way back when I lived in Alaska. There is a line – Take the darkness and wrap it around you, and you’ll find beauty in the dark – that comes back to me. That “darkness” is the emptiness, the “endless in-between” we often find ourselves in when we know we need to make a change but just can’t. That’s the place I found myself in when I wrote that song. That is the place we all find ourselves in when we reach a juncture in life.
Is it fear that keeps us stuck? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, we just can’t move. We remain in our “backup, makeshift life in waiting”.
Perhaps it is grief that sticks us in place? Grief results from failure or loss and sometimes those can be so great, so massive in proportion to the rest of our life, that to move past it takes more than we think we have to give.
When I look at the symbol that was drawn for me this morning, that is in this painting, I see the rain in the three lines, representing the emotion, pain and suffering of grief. The curved area seems to be a person hunched over with their back turned to the grief. Unwilling to embrace it. The triangle below shows their descent. The line on top is the disconnect from life that often results.
It is not meant to be a negative symbol by any means. It is just a passage through an emotion that is often difficult to allow. We are taught to reject emotion that is uncomfortable or painful. Grief is one of those emotions. But “it can’t rain all the time”.