This year I am painting a series on the ocean and of course, reflections. As I pick and choose images to paint, I am fascinated by the water reflections and inwardly I can’t help but notice how they parallel life. Isn’t it funny how we experience things and then later on they will pop up in our life in another way? It is as if the image is there for us and then we get to see it upside down. For example, as we are growing up, we experience different interactions with our parents and we have a "feeling” about the incident. It may or may not be important in the scheme of things, but just the act of going through the incident may have left a mark on our future experiences.

In my own life I have experienced this many times. One of the more notable times was noticing how my own children reflected past lessons with my mom, only now I was seeing the "other side of the coin”. I was seeing it "upside down” from the first time. I cherish many of those experiences as it helped me to realize what Mom was thinking or going through with me the first time around. Then, as I watched my children go through some of the same experiences, I could see how it might have looked to her, but now could deal with it as I wished mom had dealt with it when we went through it. You no doubt have heard the observation when you are young your mom knows everything, and then as you grow older it is amazing the things she doesn’t know. Then when you have children you start wanting her advice.

I think life often imitates this little story by reflecting back to you the given situation with you on the other side. Really, when you think about it, isn’t that an amazing way to learn?

Reflections are mirrored images, and can appear backwards. Was it Leonardo DaVinci who used to send messages to himself in the mirror? Again, like life, possibly we are being asked to see things from our head, but then look at them with our heart and our feelings as well. As society drifts into difficult circumstances as far as economics and job security go, could it be nature’s way of asking us to see the reflection of what we have done and where we have come from? Have we seen things from the financial perspective at the peril of what is good for everyone? Do we feel afraid that if we don’t think of ourselves first we will "go without” something, rather than openly sharing our wisdom and knowledge for a "win-win” situation? Are we afraid to be without our egos or are we being asked to learn to use reflections to teach us how to be both the thinker and then the feeler, or the feeler and then the thinker?

In art is it more interesting to look at a painting that is wholly photographic quality, or does our soul like to have something misty that gives us something to guess at? If you look at art, we are usually drawn to are the works that don’t just give us all the answers but instead have little bits of mystery that allow us to work it out ourselves. Humans seem to have a need to do both, but have not all grasped the importance of looking at things from "both” sides. Reflections may just be there to remind us.