Image Insights: Release


Release is about letting go with love in your heart, and moving forward. This can be about grief, or loss, or just about how you see the inevitability of changes in life—both positive and challenging. This can be about a new job in a new city, or getting rid of old bad habits.

Bruce Lee said "be like water"; meaning carve your path, but flow around that which would stand in your way.  Take what serves you, leave what doesn't.  It's possible, I think, to move beyond something and still keep a place for it in your heart and in your life. It's good to remember mistakes so we don't repeat them again, but we don't need to dwell on them.  That's letting go with love.  Sounds corny, but I can't think of a better way to say it.

My mother passed away just a few days before I wrote this blog entry. The end of her life was peaceful and I was honored to be there to see her on her way. I spent a couple years being her caregiver, which I was happy to do, but is difficult on its best days. When I look at this image and remember creating it, I think about letting the difficult part go, and moving forward with the knowledge that she taught me well, and in that and other ways, she'll always be with me.

Loss is a tough topic to tackle in art for me. I want my images to be poignant, but uplifting overall. Loss is only change. Change is an easy topic to tackle. It's universal. And even when the change is unwelcome, it always has something positive to teach us.

Release is split into a blue half and a white half to signify the difference before and after change. The white building, known and solid. The blue sky, vast and unknowable. The balloons are white to signify the part of the known world you're choosing not to carry forward — or at least not in the way you had been. The known contrasted against the unknown. Floating away to become something different to you.  The bird on the roof edge is there just as a witness. We don't exist in a vacuum, even when we feel most alone. I frequently put observer animals like this blue jay into my work. Just to make sure that you, the viewer, know you're not alone.