Natural ice formations fascinate me. They remind me of an interesting connection between love and water. Under certain conditions, we perceive both love and water very differently. Something unusual happened while I was photographing this shot. It’s a funny yet important story I want to share with you.
It was a long winter this year and many lakes were completely frozen which is unusual where I live. We experienced extremely cold temperatures over many days. Eventually, entire waterfalls solidified. It was a rare sight to see. It inspired me to bring out the love letters and create some images where I felt the energy of the scene speak to me.
Ice is inherently beautiful in all its various expressions and forms. The textures are intricate and complex. The notion that ice forms slowly over time is also relevant. It is the visual transformation of water. It transitions from a liquid state to a solid and allows finely crafted icicles to appear in the process. The water is locked up in a solid state, energy stored indefinitely until a warmer period begins.
I was thinking about the metaphor of water as a fluid element that changes form under certain conditions. The change of state is significant to me. Water is free-flowing but under these harsh conditions is slows down to a trickle and builds into a completely different form. This alters our perception of the water even though it is essentially unchanged. External factors are responsible for the change and yet we know that the water is there waiting. It releases when the temperature meltdown begins.
I understand there is a lesson here that is meaningful. Love reminds me of water and its natural ability to flow effortlessly. The stream flow of love is always changing everyday. Small fluctuations are normal. However, I wonder about conditions that impact the human heart and create an environment in which love is restricted and contained. These are the ice blocks of the human heart.
What are the factors that can influence the stream flow of love in one’s life? Your life is the watershed for love which by instinct must flow out. It is how we are programmed from birth. What happens in the winter of our existence that inhibits our ability to love freely?
A big heart with an enormous love source will suffer a smaller impact from a change in such external conditions. Large rivers take days to rise and fall. It is the smaller rivers that generally experience sudden and dramatic changes in flow due to uncontrollable factors. They are more vulnerable to change in general.
I think emotional challenges such as fear, abandonment, isolation, shame and violence can block the flow. The more I listen to people the more I realize that everybody is wounded like this in some place. Everybody has a personal story demonstrating this kind of suffering. These are the ice dams of our soul. We need love to heal and melt such barriers. When we love ourselves we have more to give to others. Loving yourself unconditionally is the greatest freedom. Others will benefit, when you release your own flow. We are all capable of this.
When I was placing the letters on the ice to create my shot, something happened that was a personal revelation for me. It was the universe talking to me for sure. You see, I lost one of my letters. The O slipped under the ice and fell into the flowing stream under the ice. It happened so quickly. All I could do was watch my letter float way from me and down towards the ocean below the waterfall.
Although I was a bit annoyed at first, I did learn an important lesson. Ultimately, I think it is my time to let love flow and be free. It’s part of my purpose. I am very grateful for this experience. Creating this work was also an act of self-awareness. I believe that creativity is a profound teacher. It is what can guide us towards higher levels of personal and collective states of consciousness. When we find meaning in our lives through creative acts, we experience lasting joy and healing. It’s so powerful. That is why I continue to move forward in making these images and writing about them. I hope to inspire others to give themselves permission to do the same.
A close friend of mine made a suggestion when I shared this story with her. She suggested that I replace the letter O with a letter I and turn my LOVE into LIVE. That’s what it’s really all about after all isn’t it? LOVE and LIVE, LIVE and LOVE.