Undergrowth

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth”
- From Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” 

Most of us are very familiar with the last line of this well-known poem, but I am rather attached to the beginning. Specifically, the phrase “to where it bent in the undergrowth.” It is just one line in the poem, but in my mind it is a clear image. Wild foliage, so thick and obscuring that one can no longer see the end of the road beyond. The pathway suddenly vanishes into a mass of greenery & thistles. Mushrooms sprout up around the edges, as if they are indicating the presence of a doorway, beckoning you to come inside. There are doorways everywhere if you know how to look for them. 


The idea of doorways is integral to the creation of my work. I feel as if I often travel to an inter-dimensional waypoint to retrieve each concept. It is a liminal place of my own making, full of portals. Each one holds a different possibility, waiting patiently for me to discover it and carefully carry it back to this plane for transformation. Shaping it, through so many forms of tangible alchemy, into an image for others to see and stories for them to read. 


I believe that every artist has a waypoint like this of their own. All art is an invitation to peek inside an individual’s secret realm. Most of us go looking for our portals, but others may stumble into them through luck or chance. Eventually, some of us are locked out and have to find a new key to a different door. Some find their doorway when they are about to give up hope that it exists. When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to find a literal way into another world, to walk away from the hurt and pain of this one into the softness of myths and faerie tales that glittered with hope and adventure. 


At fifteen, the way finally presented itself. I realized that while I couldn’t simply tumble like Alice into Wonderland, I had discovered the way into all the other dimensions, through the viewfinder of a camera and the freedom of writing whatever I wanted. This is how I have survived thus far in my life: using my ability to slide through the empty spaces of the world, into a safe place of my own making, scored by the click of a shutter & the scratch of pen on paper. 


It is my greatest hope that in showing viewers what I see through the doorways I have visited, I can provide a path to healing, understanding, connection, and beauty. 


Read more about how I found my own doorway in “At the Doorway of Dreaming”



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