It is difficult to describe how Nancy’s work has infused itself into my soul. The poet, Rumi, writes: “ The wound is the place where the Light enters”. When I lost my sweet Anna last year at the age of 24, the wound was too deep to be able to register either light or darkness. Only the most profound and desolate pain and numbness took the place where my daughter used to dance and laugh. It is hard to know what the force is that guides us through our daily existence when we don’t even know if we are alive.
In an effort to comfort me, my mom would explain, in her Biblical manner, that “while hope is man-made, grace can only come from God”. More euphemisms, more platitudes- a never ending puzzle that always changed and NEVER fit together. I struggled to find meaning in her words, but it wasn’t until I saw Nancy’s painting that I could even begin to understand the message. The fact that I was led to Nancy’s angels was a testament to the fact that I did, indeed, have guardians that were trying to help me. That I wasn’t totally alone as I looked around at the shrapnel of my shattered soul. As I witnessed, almost from another world, my 20 year old son’s life blown apart with no idea how to put it back together. It took a while, but I started to realize that what my mom was trying to tell me was true. To give up faith would mean to give up hope for my son’s entire future. To erase the possibility of joy, adventure, love and family that I had for him. But for me, hope didn’t really matter anymore. I felt like it was too late. Like the angel in Nancy’s Interfearing With Time, I was holding on to the hands of time, turning my back on grace.
But it was always there, like my mom said. And the cracks in my soul became little openings where the most impossible things began to grow, like little flowers on a broken sidewalk heaved apart by the elements. The fact that life even exists in such places is nothing less than a marvel. It is the same with healing.
Over those months, my soul’s journey was illuminated more and more by Nancy’s art. Of course, art is always subject to interpretation, but I became fascinated with the Time Series. And because I had the privilege of working in the Aspen gallery, I studied the paintings as if they were my most treasured books with pages falling out and bindings taped together. I studied Divine Time and tried to access what it would feel like to remove my grip on the hands of time, to look softly and confidently at the doves of grace and to feel my whole being aglow with the light of my Creator, whoever and wherever She or He might be. The countenance on the angel’s face revealed trust and, in that, surrender. She not only knew peace. She was peace.
But I did not know how to live in that world, as perfect as it seemed. I no longer wanted to let fear keep me in the shadows, but I didn’t feel it was possible to be 100% with Spirit, unafraid and unattached to time. Dr. Eben Alexander’s book Proof of Heaven showed me a parallel dimension where I could walk with my daughter and feel the presence of my spirit guides at every moment of my life. But how does one erase time from the human experience and the lessons we are supposed to learn- and teach- while we are here. We can’t. So slowly, but powerfully, I began to seek beyond the aesthetic beauty and delve into the paradoxical wisdom of The Unreasonable Now. Of course, this angel beckons everyone into the gallery almost by an immovable force. And everyone is drawn to her for their own reasons.
People cry without knowing why. I don’t know the pain or struggle in their hearts, but I have recognized the searching in their faces.
Often times, I wondered why this angel does not look directly at the dove, though she is clearly in her divinity and, therefore, aware that grace is at hand. And then I realized that I often find myself doing the same thing. Forever looking somewhere, neither close nor far. But it is not because I cannot see the grace in my life. I know now that it is there and that knowing gives me the freedom to be human while feeling that a greater power is somehow protecting me. I know that my daughter is also protected, even while she watches over me constantly.
I understand how impossible, i.e. unreasonable it is to believe or even pretend that only one reality exists in one moment in time. There are so many realities, so many painful, exquisite, beautiful realities within every single moment. Even after looking at her paintings almost daily for almost a year, I am still in awe of how Nancy is able to capture the divine and fragile beings that we are. She is able to go to that realm where angels fly and paint them in a way that brings our loved ones ever closer. In every brushstroke, she paints the soul. She paints remembrance and grace. She paints peace, vision and strength.
And, for me, she has painted awakening.
These are gifts that will never be forgotten. Thank you…