Two decades of handling driftwood has taught me that erosion is nothing more than observable change. There’s no difference between the weathering of organic matter, the shifting of the shoreline, or the altering of a relationship.
It’s just evolution happening in slow motion, and we have so much to learn from it.
Although our human nature wants to fight against change and cling to the parts we really like, we must remember that all things in life — even us — are meant to progress. It’s how the soul works through our baggage. But accepting this truth (or dharma) often requires a practice of action that awakens our inner self to its broader connection with the universe. This is karma yoga.
Creating art has been one of my forms of yoga since I was a child. It’s a type of meditation that moves me out of the emotional mind into a deeper consciousness. When I’m in a flow state, there is no judgment or attachment, only observation and movement. Just like there’s no judgement of the wood’s aging condition, the bleached and broken limbs are simply part of the scene on the beach. My job is to play with what’s there, experiment with my actions, and rearrange my perspective until I can release the creation without longing, or sadness or frustration.
This is why art making has the potential to become a pathway to peace. The process offers a metaphor for moving through life without ruminating over our choices. The real challenge, though, is detaching from the outcome we believe should come as a result of our effort.
On my best days, I find self-awareness is the only reward I need.