Fear is a part of our nature.
We're all afraid of something.
Fear can creep in unexpectedly at any given moment.
The invitation is to court the fear,
be present to the fear, hold its hand, and walk your path.
The artist and Zionsville resident, Nancy Noel, is known by most for her paintings of the Amish children. While I find all of her paintings magnificent as she truly mirrors the divine essence that lies in us all, The Contract speaks to the depths of me. I originally saw The Contract in a newspaper article so I clipped it, pinned it to my bulletin board and knew that I had to go to The Sanctuary, her gallery in Zionsville to experience it face to face. It is massive in size and energetically as it takes up the entire wall where it hangs.
I stood with it. I moved right up to it and stepped back little by little until I could go no further. I sat with it in the church pew. Silent conversations, energetic exchanges with images feed me like nothing else can. Time stood still as I extracted the messages, the wisdom from the images - some consciously and some unconsciously.
Jane who works for Nancy and gives the tours of this sacred space approached me. I told her how much I loved The Contract and she elaborated on the artist's statement that as humans, we fear unnecessarily and it is part of our contract to free ourselves from this fear. I heard and appreciated what she had to say but felt strongly that our ability to court the fear, to be present to it, to take it by the hand and walk our path created the freedom we all desire. The repression of the fear because we judge it, deem it unnecessary and pretend it doesn't exist is the cage of our own making.
When I met Nancy, we had passionate discussions about The Contract and all it brought forward for her and for me. She asked me to be a part of a video for her website to share my thoughts because this piece was the least favorite of most people who visited the Sanctuary. People holding weddings and receptions there would actually request that it be covered but Nancy would not oblige.
It makes sense to me that this image scares people because we fear fear. We fear what we do not understand. We label fear as a weakness as being a negative emotion instead of bringing it out into the open, examining it, acknowledging it, letting it breathe, befriending it as a part of our very nature. We're all afraid of something. Fear creeps in unexpected at any given moment warranted or unwarranted. The human psyche is wired for fear to protect not to paralyze us.
Emily Dickinson declared: No cowards soul is mine. The place we meet fearlessness is the depth of us, the soul that knows all is well even when it doesn't appear that way. Allowing the fear leads us into this sacred place within where we can rest even in the midst of life's turbulence.
Yesterday, I packed up my giclee on canvass image of The Contract as it continues to remind me that the true power lies in courting fear not trying to make it go away.