Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stopped Chasing Carrots

I have long admired and coveted this painting by my good friend Carolyn Phillips, so when my husband and I made our latest move to Houma, I decided to treat myself to a house-warming gift. It's not just the fact that the rabbit looks like he would feel like velveteen if you touched him, though that was a big part of my attraction to this piece. The thing that makes me really appreciate art is when it tells a story. OK, I'll be honest, it's when it allows me to make up a story. The story can be simple or complex, deeply meaningful or just silly.

By the time we moved back to Houma, this painting was telling a story that I could relate to. When I look at this painting, I see a rabbit who is the subject of a great experiment. For years this rabbit has been leaping and running, trying to get the carrots that dangle just out of his reach. Now and then, he gets one, but that just makes him want more. In the background, a group of observers watches. Then one day, the rabbit says, "The hell with it," and just stops chasing the carrots and adopts a position of rest. This could be a metaphor for my life and probably for the lives of many others. During my 20s, I spent a lot of time and energy chasing those proverbial carrots. In my 30s, I wizened up a little and realized what a waste that was. Society can look on through their little window all they want, but I am focused on getting my zen back these days. What I like most about this painting is that every time I start getting a little crazy and start thinking that I should be working harder, chasing down success a little more vigorously, I have this plush bunny to remind me that carrots aren't all they're cracked up to be. It's wisdom straight from the brush of a good friend and truly talented artist.

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