Tethered by Spirit

by | Feb 8, 2022

Tethered in Spirit, oil painting of black skimmers flying over dines at sunset, by Daniel Ambrose

Tethered by Spirit, oil on linen, 30 x 60 in.

In January, I delivered Tethered by Spirit along with 18 other paintings to Hughes Gallery, Boca Grande, Florida, for my annual show.

Tethered by Spirit is vaguely based on a memory of a coastal walk with my father many years ago as he entered his sixth decade. Now, I am older than he ever became. My dear, distant father.

I dreamed about him the other night. He was in a place far away. Like on a trip. I wanted to talk to him, but he was out of reach. Then I remembered we have cell phones now. I could call and talk to him. The thought made me happy. It was then that I awoke and realized I couldn’t call him. He had died long ago.

Over coffee later that morning, I read that Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my treasured spiritual teachers, had died at the age of 95. I have an affinity for him as we share the same birthday. Although he preferred to call it a continuation day. His teachings on mindfulness and gratitude eased my anxieties, deepened my art practice, and taught the “interbeing” of all things. A quote from his book, Living Buddha, Living Christ:

Really hearing a bird sing or really seeing a blue sky, we touch the seed of the Holy Spirit within us.” Thich Nhat Hanh.

His writings inspire, influence and inform many of my paintings. Part of my Faith practice. These days, I make my art of memories, intention and imagination.

In my work, I am stumbling along the pathway towards compassion and right thinking. I have love in my life, light in my soul, and gratitude in my heart. It was not always so. I find Truth and wisdom in God and science.

In his absence these past twenty-one years, I now understand my father through my work and ways. I would like to talk to him about my children and concerns in the world.

We miss the ones we love. In the holy, wordless space in between. We are tethered by spirit.

1 Comment

  1. Kathleen lusby

    Thank you for sharing your moving story. It brought to mind many thoughts of my own father. My very first landscape painting, back around 1985, I gave to my father. It’s wasn’t a very good painting, but my dad love it.
    I wish he was still alive, I miss him dearly.

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