Bridge to Serenity


Oil on canvas (original dimensions: 48”x72”)

When viewing this painting, most people comment on its peaceful nature.  When looking more closely, however, one recognizes the bridge’s frailty and how scary it might be to cross. In 2018 I entered a deadlift competition in Las Vegas. It was far out of my comfort zone. Being physically heavy, I always have the fear of being that person who breaks the rope, flimsy chair, or other support that is meant to hold you.  The fear that I felt during this competition evoked a picture in my mind of an unstable rope bridge, where everything looks like it is going to break at any moment. In our lives, each fear-inducing challenge we face is capable of generating similar feelings. Even when we bridge the chasm, there may be a symbolic “jungle” to navigate and other hurdles or “mountains” to overcome. Our path forward may be veiled in fog, hiding needed clarity. Once this painting was completed, I truly felt better!

The biblical verse in this painting is:

‏”שיר המעלות עשא עיני אל ההרים, מאין יבא עזרי. עזרי מעם ה׳ עשה שמיים וארץ. אל  יתן למוט רגלך אל ינום  שמרך. הנה לא ינום ולא ישן שומר ישראל ה׳ שומרך ה׳ צלך על יד ימינך יומם השמש לא  יככה ויריח בלילה ה׳ ישמורך מכל רע ישמר  את נפשך ה׳ ישמר צאתך ובואך מעתה ועד עולם”

“A song (to be sung) on the temple steps. I raise my eyes to the mountains,  (praying) “From where will my help come?“ My help will come from Hashem, who created the heavens and the earth. He will not allow your feet to falter. Your protector will not slumber. Look! The protector of the Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Hashem is your protector. Hashem is He who provides you shade on your right side. The sun will not strike you during the day nor will the moon at night. HaShem will protect you from all evils. He will preserve your life. Hashem will guard you as you go and as you come, from now on and for all time.” (Psalm 121)

The victory here wasn’t just winning a gold medal but it was conquering my fears! And accomplishing goals doctors didn’t think I could do. Have you ever pushed yourself past what you were told you can do? Listen to that inner voice. You really do know what is best!

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