words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Life on the Edge of Everything

Sometimes after the waking, life on the edge of everything is a beautiful place….

The tree and the path in quiet meditation

During a transitional period in the early turn of this century, I found
myself leaving behind the shackles of a difficult life and moving down the path
to a better tomorrow. I was rediscovering the pleasures of being one with
nature; my perception of it, its physical beauty and why there was a need for
it in my life. I also continued the process of self renewal through sobriety,
art, meditation and the teachings of Buddhism. It seems that I discovered how
to quiet the idea of living life on the
edge of nothingness
i.e. being caught up in distraction, attachment,
endless thought and ego.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we
used when we created them”. …Albert Einstein

Part of this process was realized when I was awarded an artist
residency with the South Carolina State Parks. It was a week-long residency at
Barnwell State Park in which I was commissioned to document the park visually in
exchange of having the pleasure of residing in one of the cabins on the
grounds. It is a small wildlife park with a beautiful lake and an alligator
(which I unfortunately never did get the chance to see). The nights were quiet and peaceful, and very
beautiful—as I was surrounded with darkness, tranquility, and solitude.

“Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to
the eyes of the soul”. …Ovid (43 BC-AD 17)

On one of my early morning walks, I found a lovely path that
meandered along-side a slow moving creek. There was a tree that had fallen,
slightly blocking the path, and I was fascinated with its natural abstract design.
I sat there quietly for a while thinking about my life, my art, my purpose and the beauty of the moment.

…”Nature. Whose sweet rains fall on just and unjust alike, will
have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence
I may weep undetected. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk
abroad in darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so
that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and
with bitter herbs make me whole”. …Oscar Wilde

Life on the edge of everything is a beautiful and safe place indeed…

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4 responses

  1. It can be and I’m glad you found a place of peace through your period of transition… It is in those times of darkness and shifting sands that we get to know who we really are and what we are truly made of… You made it.
    Phew… glad I’m finally catching up on posts I missed… I’ve been battling pneumonia and household changes as my children go off to college; I am grateful for God’s grace and the love/support in my life. 🙂 TY Walter!

    August 19, 2011 at 12:34 am

    • Hi Elizabeth, I hope you are feeling better and the children are getting off to school. It is a busy time of the year for many. Thank you for your support.

      August 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

  2. My grandmother lived in Barnwell SC. I don’t remember going to the state park though.

    August 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    • I really enjoyed Barnwell State Park. Barnwell is a rather small county, and not much else is going on there.

      August 29, 2011 at 5:04 am

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