The horizontal and the vertical.
I had the honor to visit the studio of Cynthia Packard, watch her paint, and hear about her painting process.
I watched her start to build a composition through mark making. She talked about the balance of horizontal and vertical (not in those words necessarily). Following the energy of a piece. A process of zooming in and zooming out. As I looked on, I reflected.
In my personal analysis my analyst/therapist would speak to the ‘horizontal’ as a representation/expression of relational energy. The horizontal is how we interact or engage with the outer world, our community, our environment, our loved ones, are not so favorite ones. Some people are good at the horizontal (pun intended).
The vertical is our relationship with self. In yoga we think of the sashumna nadi or envision an image of the chakras running along the spine. The various parts of self, psyche, and the body being aligned in a vertical manner. The central channel connects the brain to the heart to the gut to the genitalia.
To have a balanced composition as a person, we dance these two lines. We attempt to find harmony between the two planes.
I was putting this together and reflecting on it as I sat drinking my coffee and was doing my stitching this morning. I have recently been drawn to the act of stitching. This is nothing too involved, I simply stich lines into/onto a small piece of canvas. I have minimal sewing experience. I just like the act of doing it. It has a splash of aggression but also a meditative and soothing energy to the action. In and out, we keep going… the line continues. This idea provides comfort. (Side note: it is great for social anxiety).
This morning, though, my logic caught up with my feelings and intuition. An ‘aha’ moment. The stitching felt relevant to my exploration of horizontal and vertical. The stitching felt relevant to my exploration of self. How I go in, and how I come out. How I navigate being an in internal person in an external world. Sometimes I am so hyperfocused on the horizontal (relational relam) that I forget who I am. Sometimes I am so hyperfocused on the vertical (internal relam) that forget how to connect.
I am still working on creating a balanced composition. Well, I think we are all in an ongoing pursuit to create a balanced composition. And the most challenging part is that it is not stagnant. It is always moving so we are constantly needing to adapt.