Art Therapy

In the face of adversity, a person has choice. Biologists would talk of the fight, flight, or freeze response as an autonomic reaction to fear or danger. At the level of thought and emotion, a person can withdraw socially, go on a shopping spree, slip into depression, or solve the problem.

I have lived this week with a wolf at my door -- why it's there doesn't matter at this point. What matters to me is how I face the wolf. And there's no force more powerful than creation.

Many victims of tragedy express their feelings through art. By creating, they know they are still alive. As someone suffering a depressive bout, I had a similar need of expression.

I once watched a Discover channel segment about this artist who created sculptures from the lava of erupted volcanoes on the Hawaiian islands. He said something that stuck with me:

"Art, like childbirth, is often messy and seldom painless. But you love the result."

How awesome is that? So I took a half day from work and went motoring. Motoring is not driving. One drives to reach a destination. One motors for the experience. And of course, the MINI is THE motoring vehicle. I motored where I hadn't been before and when a scene caught my eye, I snapped it with the camera. Now I want to share some moments with you:

Farm land outside of Urbana, Illinois. When I passed the farm house in the distance, the owner was checking her mailbox. I waved.

Another perspective. Road signs intrigue me. If only life had more of these friendly direction posts.

I have always loved black and white photography. Somehow, the picture seems to capture more detail than a color photo. Can you spot the moon in this shot?

I came across this cemetary on top of this hill in the middle of farm land. I love the cloud striation.

A parked train straddled this crossing. Just as I arrived, another train was crossing the closer set of tracks. There is something mysterious and novel about trains. They are a piece of history, like many things, that disappears slowly before our eyes. It is hard to say if I will outlive the fate of trains. That would be sad.

As I pulled away from the crossing, I noticed this tag on the tanker car. Without that glance, I would have missed it. It seems someone else was in need of art therapy.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. The journey was a reminder that I can get past the depressive wolf. That nature and life are forms of therapy, if you look at them in a certain way. That we live in a beautiful world.


Allie D. said...

Chris- those are fantastic pictures. I'd love to have them framed in a series. What a wonderful talent and outlet. Thank you for the reminder...

Army said...

Thanks, Allison. I may look into framing a couple of them or putting them into a large frame with separate pictures within. Kind of a montage.

I'm glad you enjoyed them.

dimitria said...

Chris- you have such a gift. thank you for sharing and putting somethings in my own life into perspective.

bkdubya said...

...would look great in the front bedroom....

Beth said...

Thanks for reminding me of the strange beauty of my humble birth place, the grand mid-west..on the office verbiage, I have to say that I just interviewed someone who kept talking about building rapport, the bottom line, and synergy. Needless to say, everyone loved her :)

Army said...


I was thinking the front bedroom as an ideal location. My idea it to find a frame that looks like a window, and in each pane will be four separate pictures in b&w. That would be swait!

Army said...

Hey Beth! Glad to see you stop by and leave a comment : )

It is disturbing how some office types are attracted to buzz words with magnetic ease. It's all about how you present yourself.

And for those of you know don't know what we're talking about, we're referring to a previous entry of mine.

Robert said...

Great Photos! Taken with a digital or film camera?

kEnny said...

Nice shots. When I'm looking for some nice scenery, I make a point of stopping by Dr. Nazli's:

She ends up in some very picturesque locales.

- I hope the wolf gets sent packing!