Do artists live in a different, magical reality? Some weeks ago, a friend of mine, Misty, an amazing painter of wildlife, posted on Facebook a picture of a rattlesnake. I’m not a big fan of snakes but I had to admit that her painting was great just like all the others she's ever painted. I scrolled on, happy to be past the snake. This evening, I read a warning given by the Wildlife authorities about the possibility of an encounter with rattlesnake in our woods since they are waking up and beginning to be active. The following night, I dreamt about a rattlesnake that was crawling towards me when I walked in the forest. I was wearing only my summer nighty and flipflops as I sometimes do during the warm summer mornings. Scared and irritated, I thought in my dream: “Why did Misty have to paint her snake in MY forest?” Upset, I started to surface from the dream. Half awake and relieved that it was only a dream, my brain created a brilliant thought: “I have to ask Misty to paint her snake somewhere else.”
Then I came to my senses, smiled and decided to put boots on whenever I go to the forest. I told Misty about my dream and she said:”Yes! Put always boots on!” But it wasn’t over because her rattlesnake was flashing in my mind all day.
It reminded me of the time I used to write novels. As I am strongly opposed to the consumption of alcohol, I had to describe the feelings of a drunken person. After I finished that chapter, I got up from my computer and … lurched like an alcoholic! Stranger than Fiction! I sat back down at my desk and sent the main character to therapy in the next chapter.
I thought since the rattlesnake scared me in the artistic dimension, I have to resolve the issue right there. I took my brush and painted myself in the woods, in this summer nighty but in cowboy boots instead of flipflops, stepping on the head of the snake, remarking with a smile and looking very cool: “Not with me, the cowboy’s wife, you rattle sweetie!” And showing her my super-mega-sharp knife to convince her to run away.
P.S. I admit, I painted the knife and the boots first, then the legs and my hand, and the snake at the very end. And of course I named it particularly grandiose: “VICTORY OVER EVIL”.