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The Lightness of Being ~ A Lesson in Perception

Updated: Jun 15

“Movement is the primeval element of his being,

joyous movement in the wide spaciousness of freedom.” ~ Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

Simply Being

In my painting of "Being" the horse expresses the joy of simply being. Horses are so graceful. Their powerful legs carry them great distances at amazing speed, yet they appear to float effortlessly over the ground. This horse invites us to imagine what it would feel like to have such grace and power.

When I had completed the painting, I felt something was missing. Then I knew… and I added the misty exhalation of the breath in the morning air, and the horse came to life right before my eyes.

Lessons in Perception

I learned how each person sees things differently. In 1990 when I was having a lithographic print made of the original art, the print maker created a proof of the color separations. I went to the print shop to approve it and I was shocked at how dark the reproduction was. We talked about it for some time trying to understand why he perceived it should look so dark. He finally said, “those shapes in the background are the dark clouds, and this is the light after the storm.” I said, “No, those dark shapes are abstract trees. I intended it to be the joyful light of a misty morning with the sun just rising.” “Oh…" he said, "well that changes things!”

My lesson in perception was to realize that we all perceive reality as a reflection of our state of mind. In this case I was feeling the lightness of being, and he thought the horse was running from a gathering storm. Both could be true. Its a matter of interpretation. Sometimes we can't see the light until there is darkness. All we can do is focus on the ability to be present for both.

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