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painting of water

Colby Cornelius

"The View"

Addie Appleby

Let me paint a picture in your mind. Within this painting exists a single moment in time, home to a crystalline stream where the surface could be mistaken for glass. The stream snakes its way under an old, aging bridge, surrounded on either side by dense grass and looming trees. The serpentine-like flow of the stream is obstructed only by the jagged rocks lying underneath the bridge, which combine to create a small rapids. After the water completes its journey under the bridge, it flows out of sight off the canvas. 

The perfectly reflective water, as clear as the night sky, rushes towards the rocky underside of the bridge, shattering into millions of tiny glass pieces. Ultimately, the water loses its perfection and glass-like qualities.  Despite the developed imperfection, the water continues to flow, steadily settling back down to its reflective state, until all signs of what had happened moments before have disappeared. In this instant in time, the beauty of the clear water is stripped away by the jagged rocks, however, regardless of the obstructions, the water manages to push through the obstacles and emerge out the other end still a stream.

Imagine yourself as the water. From the perspective of the water, rocks seem relentless and impenetrable, but just as soon as water enters the minefield, it circulates out the other side to begin the process of returning to uniformity. Life is fluid, and can flow around difficulty without dissipating. There is always a path that makes it through. Life is the stream. The stream develops and grows through the land around it just as people grow and adapt to the environment they are placed in. The path is not always smooth, rather, it becomes twisted, and complex along the way. 

This specific disturbance in the massive expanse of the stream’s length, is only a fraction of what all the stream has been through and has yet to go through. There are a finite number of next interruptions that the stream will pass through. The wounds the water receives from the rocky underpass may seem to last, but the stream does not start in this spot on the canvas. The water had not been crystal clear forever prior to the bridge, as there are miles of unseen water which house more patches of rocks just like this one. The water has gone through similar challenges in the past, but every time the water has made it through. 

People are the same way. Every problem has a solution, and every challenge can be conquered. The damage the challenge leaves is like the imperfection on the water's surface. It may seem bad in the moment, but it will heal, and the river will continue. Think about expanding the painting to show the entire river. Now you can see with detail every imperfection, and inconvenience the river has gone through, and now the one instance of water going over rocks seems a lot less impactful. 

If something seems impossible, it may be because you are viewing it from too close of a perspective. Take a step back and take a different look from a wider viewpoint. Despite the wounds the water has endured, it slowly reverts back to its original texture. One specific instance of the cycle is like a challenge people face in everyday life. We may think the challenges are overwhelming while we are in the moment, but if you take a step back and look at the problem from a wider perspective, it may be easier to find a solution. 

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