An artist stands in front of her large painting, Woman, which shows a portrait of three women: one looking out, one looking in, and one looking away. Tess, the artist, recognizes herself in the portrait of her friends: Selma, a waitress, Nora, a business woman, and Avery, a mother of twins.

“Finally, all has come together, my inner world of body, mind, and soul, trapped on the canvas through the portrayal of my friends,” Tess smiles and walks away.

Tess talks to herself and to her three friends who listen less than question, driving Tess to do what she must: paint. The voices take shape on the canvas and thus leave her alone for a while. She traps them happily, because to look a voice in the eye is easier than trying to silence it.

Outside the museum the day is beautiful, and she breathes in the sunshine and the light. She has come to enjoy the exhibit on her own early this morning, the day after the grand opening. Ten different artists were chosen for this show called: Voices! Vocal, Verbal and Visible, and the one review she has read so far is positive. Not that she cares. This is a show about verity; the truth that exists within the artist and about the effort to give birth to this truth that only wants to take form on its own terms.

She heads towards the neighborhood church just around the corner, where she can sit quietly and be thankful for her gifts and insights while her voices rest. In the silent atmosphere of the church, she melts into bliss. What she yearns for is stillness and timelessness within her mind and her body, the complete release of herself to something bigger. Through her practice of painting she does reach a space full of stillness and timelessness, where all is fluid and she becomes part of the flowing stream of consciousness. The urge to be in control no longer exists and her paintings take form and shape in a mysterious and divine way and create themselves.

Do we as human beings create ourselves? God paints us but then lets us take form on our own? God gives Spirit but the form and the shape we create around this piece of Spirit is our doing? And life is a question of connecting Body, Mind and Soul? How much body do I need to satisfy today, and can my soul wait until tomorrow? My mind is always pushing hard to be heard and often overrides the other two. I think with my mind; I feel with my soul and I act with my body. And in a sacred place or through yoga practice or by painting I almost connect all three. That is stillness.



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