Human Alchemy

I had not thought or discussed this Chart since about the 8th grade when I’s sure I was supposed to have learned it far better than I ever remember learning it. One morning though, decades later I woke up thinking about The Periodic Table of Elements. I’m still not sure if I dreamt it or just thought of it as I woke up but either way I knew I had to paint it. After all it is a painting off everything in existence who would not want to paint that. I took this copy out of my very outdated dictionary my dad had given me. It has progressed since but this is my rendition.

The Painting of Everything 

According to my 1991 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, the first definition of the word chemistry is: the science dealing with the composition and properties of substances, and with the reactions by which substances are produced from or converted into other substances. The fifth definition is: a) the makeup of a person, group situation, etc. b) interaction between people, esp. with respect to emotional or intellectual qualities; rapport.

By this definition we are made of these substances or they surround us and this makes all of us chemists, Alchemists really constantly mutating.

Have you ever wondered when someone crosses your mind, if that someone knows you are thinking of them. Many studies have been done on this. In a recent article for the New Yorker author Michael Pollan offered plants have an intelligence. They have ways of taking sensory data they gather in everyday lives, integrate it and then behave in appropriate ways. In this article Pollan says recent research have discovered plants have all the same senses as humans. Researchers have dropped, drugged, talked to, played music for, changed their environments, thought of on vacation, it has also  been discovered plants have a memory retention, so it all stands to reason to me when someone crosses your mind there is a knowledge though it may be on a subconscious level not only the sender has a response but also the receiver. Chemical changes.  

Stop right now and think about yourself and your body. Can you feel yourself?

Can you feel yourself all the way down to your little toes? I think when you touch a doorknob it collects and holds your energy, the glass you drink your water out of, the letter you sent. It all carries you, as you and what state you are in at the time of sending. These items not only carry you, they carry the emotion and intension you held at the time of touch, had that thought, or ate that tomato. This is important, this is constant, this is now, immediate, everyday.  I needed to get this through to myself.  So If I am leaving myself behind everywhere I must also be picking up others? 

When I woke up from a dream in 2003 thinking so strongly about The Periodic Table of Elements, it was still on my mind weeks later. I figured the Universe did not send me that dream because I am a scientist or scholar, nor did my job have anything to do with chemistry. I was a beginner artist you see, so what was I supposed to do with that, why me? I had just started painting a year earlier after a 35 year hiatus.  I had no idea what to do with this dream to get it out of my head so to speak. 

I remembered The Periodic Table from eight grade science class all black and white hanging from two chains very unimpressive but yet it had a presence.

  Even through it’s repeating scroll in my head it still took me a few months to decide because I just could not forget it. It would not let me and I am so glad it wouldn’t.

I had been living a very passive life except without really realizing at the time my insides were just searching for something to hang onto I needed something to learn and believe in.

I think if I would have put it off much longer, God would have skipped me and passed the idea on to someone else. My only creative outlet at the time was painting, so I decided to do that, paint it I mean. 

Because I used end of day paint this Painting of Everything, as I called it,  took me many months to paint and many years to figure out, at least in part, why it compelled me to paint it. This painting took me on a path, though I didn’t realize because I didn’t even think about it most of the time. It wasn’t until all the boxes were painted, I started adding the element symbols, numbers and weights that I even stopped to take notice. Standing back looking at even the unfinished chart at that time was pleasing to my senses. 

A month or so to dry, I then started painting in the group headings and it was their “meanings” that got me hooked, lead me to question and take notice of myself.

It was then that it was beginning to sink in that the most important thing I can do

in my life right now for myself, my family, my children and grandchildren, the very evolution of man is to pay attention to myself, to add and subtract elements to my life.  Strengthen that muscle that catches it when my mind is going down a negative path, observe myself as the superhero that knows when to get out of a gossip session, to go to an affirmation when I am doubting. When to pay keen attention to the images of my mind and situations I get myself into through guilt, shame or just plain goading wanting the voices to just shut up. Then discovering that the wanting itself does not shut anything up.

When I think about the things I had taught my daughter through my own low self esteem and actions of internal mass destruction to both my daughter and myself, makes me cringe. If I can stop such behaviours and actions with what my generation has allowed to leak onto the next I will feel I have only begun to tip the scales. 

I needed to identify where I was in my mind and change it. Sometimes that meant trying to bring back some of the old me I had lost like humour and what little confidence I had, I needed to stop being a victim and blaming, to get my own chemistry in a row. ( on the Periodic Table these rows are called periods) This was all going on when my mind and my world were much smaller.

Remember I said God had to start with the basics with me, I had figured out then that this Painting of Everything was my a portal to the beginning.