Mother Earth’s Resilience

So as many of you may or may not know, I have been exploring the coast of beautiful British Columbia. Now, some of you out there jokingly refer to BC as ‘beneath clouds’, while others refer to it as ‘bring cash’, but however you want to look at it, this place is magical, especially in terms of the natural beauty- which I will remark has taken a bit of a hit over the years by the push for resource extraction, and the dependency on natural resources for this thing called ‘progress’. We live in what can best be described as uncertain times, and that may be a nice way of putting it. It is disheartening to say the least, though there is hope. For instance, I was sitting by the ocean one day, observing the splendor nature provides, and not 20 meters from shore, giant salmon, mostly Spring, some Pinks and Koho, began jumping in droves- something that for the last few years was literally nonexistant at this particular spot… at least, according to some of the local residents. It was a thing of beauty, and reminded me that the planet is okay, and that the cycles are cycling. Mother Earth, despite the negligence of some, is still doing her thing. So with this fresh imprint on my mind, I walked down the beach with a smile on face.

Low and behold, what do I come across but a beautiful piece of flotsam, brought in by the tides, nicely dried and ready for a nice coat of paint, and of course some cobalt teal. It has been a bit of an ongoing thing for me this year, flotsam that is, whereupon I collect peices that have a good feel, provided by nature’s recycling program, and usually I have a vision of something while holding the pieces. I then translate that vision into a painting. On this day in particular, the image that came to me was one of the world’s most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa herself. I can hardly explain why exactly I had a vision of the Mona Lisa… all I can say is that it just made sense. So without an ounce of doubt I set off to paint what is arguably the worlds most famous painting, or perhaps the most recognizable. This particular version, I decided to put a contemporary twist on, giving her a bit of a makeover if you will, and considering her age I think she’d appreciate it. The painting came out effortlessly, as if Leonardo himself was present in the room, guiding me step by step through the process. Now, I do not claim to be the next Leonardo. For one, Leonardo didn’t surf. In the end Mona ‘Coasty’ Lisa took on a slightly younger look, and being that I painted her on the west coast, she takes on a certain left coast zeal, or a slightly hippy sensibility- you know, less clothes is more kind of thing. I might add that with additonal use of magenta, phthalo blue (red shade), and turquois (phthalo), we can say she is a rainbow child. By this I mean an actual rainbow. It is funny to note that I actually painted her using the sfumato canon technique, so magnificantly employed by Leonardo (and a bit of ipso facto; a layering technique also used in those days). I didn’t actually realize this until I finished the painting… so there you go. It is, I think fitting, that a new Mona Lisa has been brought to life, for it would appear we are experiencing some kind of present day Renaissance. I would add to this, that in todays version, the folks contributing to this rebirth has grown exponentially… Go team!

Tips for Swimming in Phosphoresence:

-Some hot sunny days in a row during the summer months when in higher latitudes

-A full moon night, followed by a night with decent cloud cover (the more ambient light there is the less you’ll see, and for other reasons which I will go into as the list develops)

-Go late! 10 pm and onwards

-If on left coast, watch the barnacles when walking out, ouch!

-Go deep, get out there, way out… if you cannot swim, find a buddy and let them pull you out on a floaty device, naked. And people please do this in a safe manner okay, next!

-Move that water, make accentuated breaststrokes. Do it, stir it up, kick hard (dolphin style or whatever you like)

-Go out on a boat and dive in deep, really deep. Don’t be shy, get in there and make that water move about. Oh and don’t forget, eyes open!

-Be prepared to have your mind blown (screaming optional)- no trippin can even compare, no special FX or stimulant will never compare to what Mother Earth has to offer, or Lady Pacifica in the case of the left coast (Canada)

-Stay in as long as you can… this stuff electrifies you, and it is a tonic for life, and recharges your worn out batteries. Trust me.

-Open those eyes! Oh and a tip for holding breath longer under water; when in the shallows, with snorkel in mouth, no goggles, open eyes and hold open for five minutes. This triggers something in your body to allow you to stay under water for longer periods of time- this according a free diver I met on recent explorations in Hawaii. Ask an expert first, I hold no personal responsibility if this is not true and you have stayed under too long. Know your limits people, really!

-Have a beach fire ready, especially in the higher latitudes (Brrr). But hey, if you are refreshed and recharged this is great!

-Cuddle buddies are also an option, though swimming with these little bright buddies solo is recommended by this writer/blogger/explorer/artist

-Hot tub! Rinse first okay? Saltwater not recommended in the tub.

-Give thanks and bless to all that is awesome, Mother Earth, the ocean and you! (it has been pointed out that this list might be appropriately titled swimming sexy in phosphoresence, or sexophosphorescence. I’ll let you be the judge)

Mahaloness, peace, and love.

-Shane

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