Yesterday I wrote about my struggle with friendships in the real world, but there are people here that I feel safe with.
Whether it is because each of you is far away, it somehow makes it easier. I don’t know, the fact that because you are over there and I am over here means that you can’t abandon me because we were never together to begin with. It somehow makes sense in my twisted little brain.
All of my paintings, so far, have used my friends as muses. It’s difficult to explain, but I need a purpose to paint. I can’t paint “just because”, because it doesn’t work. I have to want to express something, and I guess this is where the symbolism comes into it. Each, so far, has been a tribute to someone who inspires me, and I am grateful for that.
I usually title my paintings after the person who is in them. But this one is different. Actually, it is the first painting that has two girls in it. This one is titled “What Brings Us Together; What Keeps Us Apart”.
Rarely in life you find what some people call a soul mate. Soul mate isn’t the right word for me, it feels like it doesn’t do the emotional connection justice as soul mate is a very versatile term, with its definition being defined differently by different individuals. Maybe ship-mate is a better description – someone who I’d let live on my ship if I had one, because I wouldn’t let just anyone on my ship.
I am the blonde mermaid in the painting . I am a child of the sea. I long for the ocean in all it’s glory. It’s one of the only places (apart from my bed) in this strange, alien world that I feel like I belong.
The other person is my ship-soul-mate-type-person. When I saw her in real life for the first time, shortly after our internet correspondence was born and a bond was formed between us, I could almost see and feel the reason we had connected was because she was another child of the sea. A true ship-mate. A mermaid. A soul mate.
I don’t want to gush, but I feel like that is probably where this is heading. Do I care? Nope, I’m writing this, as ever, as if no one is reading.
The definition of soul mate ranges widely, and I cannot pinpoint it. It is commonly accepted that one will feel ‘complete’ once they have found their soul mate, as it is partially in the perceived definition that two souls are meant to unite.
I feel like this is what I have with my ship-soul-mate-type-person , our souls are united and it started with long conversations about swimming in the ocean and wanting to escape somewhere else by boat. But the ocean is also what keeps us apart, floating on our two separate continents.
Other symbols in the painting –
Fully rigged ship tattoos were used as an amulet by sailors to ensure a safe journey. This makes sure we are safe.
The anchor holds one steadfast against winds and currents that might lead us astray. It holds us steadfast when the storms and winds of mental illness come calling.
The shells symbolise strength, and even in our weak moments we are stronger than we imagine, but as they are two halves of the same shell they also represent separation.
The pearls bind us together and to the ocean. Pearls are highly valued gemstones and have been objects of beauty for many centuries. Because of this the word “pearl” has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine and valuable. Our friendship is rare, fine and valuable to me and I hiope the binding never breaks.
The swallow guarantees a safe return home. It also represents love, care, affection, freedom and hope.
The Tudor rose is because it is the traditional heraldic emblem of England. And here is where I am stuck.
Love Sailor xox