A lot of the memories that I incorporate into my paintings derive from a little choice of a little risk. In this one, it was losing track of time out in the forest well past dark, risking getting swarmed by mosquitoes and missing the turns to get home. Instead, a fleet of fireflies came out and lit our way home in what became an incredibly whimsical and beautiful memory.
But risk is sometimes terrifying, not just inconvenient, and you can’t see why it would ever be a good idea. And with good reason: often times the world is harsh and brutal, and leaves you wondering why you even tried. Just a tiny risk of mere inconvenience resulted in a memory that felt like a fairy tale.
There is a principle of life that is written everywhere: if you aren’t willing to lose it all, it will rather be your darkest fears that come to pass. A soldier not willing to risk being in the line of fire will never push back the enemy. A rock climber afraid to reach higher for fear of falling will likely slip because their whole mind and body wasn’t committed to the move. A new relationship won’t go anywhere if both lovers won’t bare their hearts and risk getting hurt again, instead they’ll wonder why they don’t feel anything.
As Jesus teaches us in the Gospel: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Failing isn’t the worst thing. What is far worse is not giving it your all and regretting it for the rest of your life. And who knows, even if night does fall upon you when you are deep in the woods, you may find yourself in the middle of a fairy tale.