I recently finished this painting and at the request of some, I’ve decided to upload it. I had planned on waiting until I’d finished the other paintings I am working on, but I’ve been really busy (we all have, honestly) and I figured there’d be no harm in showing this one off.
The most beautiful thing about Nature is that it has everything we need. When we go out picking wild grapes or passionfruit or mesquite beans, the impulse is to try and pick everything, to try and grab it all. Of course you can’t, and you don’t need to.
Our society today drives people to feel like if they’re not constantly pushing for more, they’ll be seen as lazy or unsuccessful. We’re very competitive in how we deal with each other and our own lives in our culture. Nature is not like that; in Nature, life is not about competing to be the best, it’s about being just good enough.
That’s a hard reality to accept, for a lot of people, myself included. We’ve been conditioned by the circumstances we all live in to believe that life is a struggle: “Cursed is the ground because of you, through painful toil will you eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow will you eat your food”. Incredulity is a common reaction I see; either wild foods don’t exist, or exist in such paltry conditions to make their usage akin to famine and starvation.
So when you see a smorgasbord of food, free for the taking, your impulse is to jump on it and devour it all. Who knows when you’ll get another break like this? Truthfully, this is how we assume “wild savages” (hunter-gatherers) think and live. What we’re feeling is a lack of trust, of faith in the world we live in. Such a loss engenders a sense of desperation in people. We become, not like animals (for most animals actually avoid competition and conflict like a plague), but like crazy people; like animals caught in a trap.
At it’s core it’s a lack of hope, a lack of heart. But there is hope, there is a reason to have heart.
You belong here.
You belong here in the same way everything else does: the grass out in your front lawn, the birds in your bushes, the possum sleeping in the tree in your backyard. You are just as much a part of this world as they are, as we all are. And you have every reason to have faith in that.
You belong here. Everything you need is right here. There is a place for you at this table and you don’t need to be afraid.