The story behind my painting called, “Grace”
Early one morning, in the summer of 1997 I sat at my computer staring at the screen, gently shaking my head in disbelief. I was contemplating how to wrap my head around a profound experience that I had three days earlier with my new (now old) friend Miki Landseadel. After seven years of virtually non-stop and amazing synchronistic events, this one, fresh in my mind, was beyond me.
I asked, “How much more synchronicity can I take?”
I looked down at my keyboard when suddenly my vision became soft and words began flowing. As I typed, I found myself in a living vision and feeling every word.
“Soft my sight in the presence of the Lord who graces upon me ecstasy
Cherished are my thoughts
Everyone I touch, every smile I create will grace
As grace falls from my fingertips
As I embody this aspect of who we are
Everyone will know immediately that I am
For they will see their own grace reflected and be drawn into truth of spirit
In the vision, I was floating in the night’s sky surrounded by stars. Two women behind me were placing a cloak of Grace over my shoulders. Instantly, I saw many other people floating in the Heavens near and far, each with their own cloak of Grace.
When the experience was over, I read the poem several times and felt an urge to sing them. Wait a minute I don’t have a voice and mother is still asleep. I quietly shut the door and began singing in what my friend later explained as melisma or melismatic. It is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. As an example the words, “soft”, “grace” and “spirit” had seven tones. Most others had one or two.
After reciting this poem aloud (but not loud), I felt a need to look up the etymology of the word “grace” in my dictionary. To my surprise, the Indo-European base meaning is to “lift up the voice, praise”. In Sanskrit it means “(he) sings, praises” and in Old Irish it means “bard”.
I exclaimed with joy, “I just did Grace!”
Then I realized something else. A week before my mother, Miki and I were at an Irish restaurant where they had a map of Ireland on the wall. I was curious to find County Kerry on the map because my mother named me after that county (she got the idea from her favorite movie The Quiet Man, which came out when she was pregnant with me).
In county Kerry was an image of a castle with a harp on top. Miki instantly recognized the symbol and told me it meant bard, which was an ancient Celtic poet and singer of epic poems, who accompanied himself on the harp.
Back to Kerry Van Dyke Visionary