In one of the guided meditations I use, I was asked to step inside a painting that has a soothing effect on me. Without scanning my inner library of favorite artworks, I suddenly found myself inside the painting Homesickness by René Magritte (1940). I was standing on a bridge, but I couldn’t see the ends because of a warm colored, heavy fog. But I could see the lion and the gentleman angel not far from me. There was a slight breeze and it made the lion’s mane gently sway in the wind and the black feathers of the man’s wings shimmer. I was walking towards them and when I was at the distance as the observer in the painting, they didn’t mind my presence. The lion looked over at me for a second and then went back to his dreamlike state of staring into the distance. The angel never turned around, so I never got to see his face, not even when I stood next to him, looking down at the river below.
There was a sailboat on the river, but there were no sounds of water or birds. It was completely quiet and still, except for the breeze. I think it was early morning, around sunrise. The city behind the mist was still asleep. I felt welcome, even though I was ignored. On the other side of the bridge there was a black door, sort of where the angel is standing but on the other side. I walked over to the door, opened it and found a view of something like this:
A misty, grey landscape surrounding a lake. The air was crisp and clear. It was so easy to breathe. I looked over at the water. It was completely still and so calming. I thought to myself “I think this is my happy place.” I never wanted to leave.
This happy place reminds me of my childhood and where I grew up (Lindö, Norrköping, Sweden). I took Johnny there the first time he visited and he had never experienced a more quiet, soothing place in his life. We had a beautiful moment by the water. Now it’s our happy place.
Perhaps the happy place is reflected in the grey-scale in my art as well. To me, a grey sky is not depressing. It is comforting. I feel at home in the melancholy mood. It speaks to me like it’s my native language.