I think any artist will know what I'm talking about once I describe this phenomenon. It is the moment when time stands still, or rather is absorbed into eternity. What starts out as a busy day and a bad mood...the reticence of going to find inspirations to paint about or write about or sing about is suddenly in eternity past and all but forgotten.
I last experienced "The Great Drift" (I admit, I just made that phrase up) on my latest kayak venture 3 days ago. It looked like it was going to be a boring time out there. From shore, it was a bit too hot and sticky, much too windy, but with no waves to break up the monotony. It felt strange...and the gooey black unknown slime on shore was quite the chore to wade through. But I dragged myself through the smell because my curiosity to see the sand cliffs across the bay won me over.
First, the startle of the wind almost stole my paddle. Then delight of an eagle's swoop near the boat. The eeriness of the changing winds and hurried clouds yet no waves. The ripples on the ripples. The easily forgotten peace that is always gifted while and hearing only lapping of the water near me. I didn't need to work hard to get to those cliffs because nature pushed me there and I was also caught up in a greater drift...the pulling of the unknown, the unexplored.
I forgot myself completely when I became driven to record the mysterious sandy cliff with my phone camera...wondering if I would finally find my much desired arrowhead when I hit shore, but finding instead a hundred swallows in their caves and fluttering around me. Old lake sailing ships had lost rusted metal bits and pieces decades ago and washed ashore, landing like driftwood, amongst the driftwood. I gathered them and tucked them safely into the bow of my kayak, like precious cargo, along with some inspiring rocks...one that held in its timeworn character, a figure in a landscape that beckons to be released with paint.
And on the way back, I sunk my hands deep into the clear coolness and couldn't resist lingering there. Heaven itself will be like this shallow oval-rock bottomed shore just like this. And I will linger there and worship. This is The Great Drift...touching eternity. A poem comes to me and goes before I can write it. And a painting now ruminates in my soul. And then some waves came and woke me out of my paradise. I had to work hard to get back to the reality of a hot and sticky day only suitable for air conditioning. And I didn't even find an arrowhead.
I wish you The Great Drift this month!