Chapter 5: Enchantment

December 30, 2016

I found what I was looking for — acceptance. And it felt amazing. Every day was filled with motivation and encouragement. I found more ways to send my message out into the world, and I was intoxicated by the response. It…felt…great! Little-by-little, though, I saw a part of me come through that did not feel genuine. The purity of my self-expression was being eroded with the craving for popularity…love…adoration…attention…validation. My motivation was simply to outdo the next person, regardless of the consequences. I was intent. Days later, as the effects of feeding the addiction subsided, I looked back at more than just my behavior. I looked back at the message I was sending out into the world. I simply didn’t care what I showed people, though. I would do whatever it took to get a nibble of their devotion. It did not feel right. My effort over the years had turned into desperation, and that desperation was evolving as someone that I did not want to be. I needed to get straight with myself.

I traveled to the Enchanted Circle in northern New Mexico for a self-induced intervention. That night I ventured out for the sunset, completely exhausted. “Hmmph! Lackluster! No one will be impressed with this!” I went back to my cottage and sat outside under ebony black skies twinkling with distance stars. The silence made me feel completely alone, and my only companion was a lone coyote crying into the blackness. I tried to discern some shape in the darkness to overcome the feeling, but found nothing. Only sensory deprivation that created a greater sense of isolation. “This isn’t me. I used to love being alone, but now I need constant attention to know that I am relevant in this world.

As the day’s first light crept over the mountains, the near-frigid temperatures made me feel trapped at a time when I just needed to be outside my own thoughts. Grudgingly, I bundled up and drove to Eagle Nest Lake. What awaited me was beyond my imagination. The light of the morning sun painted the sky in glorious gold and orange. I ran to the edge of the lake hoping to be bathed in warmth. What I found was so intense that my soul opened to the skies. The unsettled water was dappled with a spectacle abstract artwork of glorious sunrise colors mingled with blue. I was awe-struck. I slowly sat down on the cold sand, not wanting to miss a single second. I watched. Every few minutes I would look around to see if anyone was nearby, but I was alone. “How can people sleep through this?” In that moment, I thought about the place I was just two days ago — vying for attention, engaged in the popularity contest. I felt foolish. Foolish for losing sight of what is truly amazing in this world. Foolish for being entranced by something so common and short-lived. Foolish for believing that anything can feed my soul more than communing with nature. Foolish for losing sight of my purpose, my dream, my intention in this world. Foolish for believing that anything man-made could touch me as deeply as the unparalleled beauty of nature, and she does it so effortlessly.

Years ago I read something that often comes to mind. “Schedule is the way we manifest our intentions in this world.” Enchantment comes in many forms, and desperation is the seed of temptation. We will be tempted, and we will find ourselves lost in a place where we did not intend to be. That is the nature of a free spirit. But in those moments, we have a choice. Remain lost in what is short-lived and ultimately irrelevant, or nurture our souls and be the enchantment in this world. On that day at Eagle Nest Lake, nature created a scene for me that has never existed before and will not exist again. It was an intimate and profound experience intended only for me. In that moment, I felt a part of me come alive, and I knew that the validation I needed was waiting quietly inside me.



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