Blog: Take me Home, ToTo

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 05 2019

Spirit of the Land, 14×14, Watermedia on Watercolor paper

Featured image: Spirit of the Land

Put on your ruby slippers, click the heels together, close your eyes and make a wish. 

Take me home ToTo.

The Journey Series. -   Christine Alfery 

Life is a journey. It’s full of ups and downs.  I frequently describe it as a roller coaster ride.  We are in it for the ride and we should always try to make the most of the ride that we’re on. Wishes and dreams are a part of this ride.  They give us a direction and become our compass, sometimes directing us in a wrong direction. However, the direction isn’t really wrong because we always have our ruby slippers. We can always click our heels together and work towards another direction.

To take away that ride (journey) and allow another to direct it for you, is to allow another to be your compass. This takes away from your life and the richness of it.  The works in my series that I call, “The Journey” are filled with the directions that folks take, the rides they take, and the compasses that they follow. Some will follow the herd out of instinct and an overwhelming need for safety, while others are not afraid to take a risk and go on a path not yet taken.  

The series, “The Journey”, began when I was in a very remote area of northern Canada. I was reminded of the area’s history.  I was reminded of the herds of caribou and their journey across the lands, and that of the buffalo, antelope, and deer. I always turn to the stars and think of the African tribes that believe when their ancestors pass they become stars in the heavens. There, they are are looking over and down at them and protecting them on their life’s journey.

Needless to say, I thought of many journeys on that trip and the way that we travel.  We travel often in groups and we learn from that group at the same time. Some of us go out on our own and travel in our own directions.  

There is an umbrella in many of my journey works.  At first, the umbrella represented me and the protection it gave me as I would go out on my own.  The umbrella gave me shelter like the tent that I was staying in when in the wilderness, sheltering through windstorms, rain, snow, sleet, and tides. Frequently, I would need. I needed shelter for very long periods of time because of the directions that I took. Although I was on paths that were unknown, I needed to trust myself, my ability to survive and protect my life, and the journey that I was on.

Sometimes, we need protection in our lives from others that think they know what is best for us.  We join their group, their herd. I have done that. 

I am still part of one very powerful group that no one has seen.  I am a Christian and I allow the values of my faith to guide my path and to be that umbrella when there is nothing else.  What my faith has told me is that I am a wonderful, unique individual, independent of all other things and that I am capable of taking the journey and going in a direction that many others have not.  It has told me that it’s not a perfect journey and that I will make wrong or bad choices but, I am capable of taking the journey.   

The art that I create takes the same path. It’s on a journey. The works have that path in them and if you look carefully, you will find me and others frolicking along, dancing, flying, skipping, playing in the playground of life and taking our own way through it.

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