|© Robin Edmundson, 'Haybales, Blue Trees, Quail', watercolor, 10 x 14 inches. |
Framed to 18 x 22 inches. $375
I've been thinking a lot lately about belonging - or rather not belonging. It's a human thing to gather into like-minded groups and to identify as 'belonging' vs. not belonging; it's a 'we' vs. 'other' thing.
Like most people, I belong to a number of groups, and I identify with many different things. Most of the time, I am very aware of how I am different from others in the group and in the past some people have been unpleasant when they found out about those differences. For that reason, I hang out around the fringes of most of my groups, participating cheerfully, but never quite going all-in. I never feel like I truly belong.
It occurred to me the other night that while I don't feel like I truly belong to any particular group, I do feel like I truly belong to a particular place.
I belong to rural Indiana. I feel it deeply - at the atomic level. The wind is my breath, the earth my flesh, the creeks my blood.
That one realization was a turning point for me in my work. When I tap into that feeling of belonging - of being 'one' with this place - then my work takes on a certain kind of pleasing character and flow. People respond to those pieces in ways that I would never have predicted.
This kind of belonging is a powerful thing.