Why write? why paint? why heal?

15 10 2009

Rebekah’s Studio features old-fashioned letters, paintings and healing. Why write? Why paint? Why heal?

In the current 42-day world gratitude experiment shepherded by Stacey Robyn, the meditation for Day 27 is “Writes of Passage.” The suggestion is to ponder, “Who am I grateful for?” and write a letter to thank this person without the pressure that it needs to be delivered (because it doesn’t).

Stacey Robyn notes that psychology professor Peterson of the University of Michigan gives students a homework assignment now and then of writing such a gratitude letter, a belated thank you note, if you will. The letter writing “provides long-lasting mood boosts to the writers.” The professor says his students feel happier one hundred percent of the time.

Lately I have been trying to locate a certain Alan who was a fan of my oil paintings when I first started exhibiting my work. He would see the announcements in the paper and show up at the openings. Passing by one day he saw me painting on location at Kaaawa Stream and pulled up along the side of the highway. He cheerfully called out the window, “Let me know when you’re finished with that one, I’d like to see it.”

The painting he admired

The painting he admired

As it turns out, this was quite some years ago, and after a long pause in painting I pulled out the canvas just this spring and completed it. I remembered Alan and set out to contact him. It’s a wonder to me how I remembered his name—his first name, and then after a couple of days, his last name. No luck in the printed phone directory, and initially nothing familiar in various searches on the internet.

My research brought me to a blurb and photo from Hawaii Fishing News, reporting and depicting a fisherman with the same last name and looks who had caught a 100-plus-pound ulua fish in the summer of 1999 and who thanked Alan for his help. Being tenacious in my research, I contacted HFN who kindly gave me the fisherman’s phone number. I left call back messages twice, but no one rang back.

Still wanting to reach Alan, I took to searching the internet again. Last night I came across an esoteric article by T. Castanha, Aia Na Ha’ina I Loko o Kakou (The Answers Lie Within Us),” concerning the “Boricua Migration to Hawai‘i and Meaning of Caribbean Indigenous Resistance, Survival and Presence on  the Island of Boriken (Puerto Rico).”

The article is interesting to me for its insight on the situation of the indigenous peoples of Boriken and the Hawaiian Islands both. The paper was presented in Hilo at the 1999 World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education.

More intriguing to me was that the author dedicated his presentation to his friend, brother and roommate, who recently passed on, the article stated, his friend who had the same name of the Alan I was looking for.

There, then, was the answer for me.

And here, now, is my gratitude letter to a faithful fan: Mahalo, Alan, for encouraging my art. Perhaps our paths will cross again.

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke

In a Reiki healing session, we thank our Reiki masters in spirit from the heart. Like writing a gratitude letter, Reiki can help one feel happier. For more information, click on Reiki Healing by Oelen in the menu bar.



4 responses

1 11 2009

There’s a lyrical movement to it. Sometimes I paint to music. In this case by the sea, the wind and the waves provide the rhythm. Glad you like it. Thank you.

1 11 2009

I just love this painting. It sings to me.

27 10 2009

You’re welcome, Kelley. You say “amazing.” I’m thinking “intriguing.”

27 10 2009

Isn’t the internet an amazing tool? Still, it takes people to uncover its potential and give it purpose. Beautiful and inspiring piece, Rebekah. Thanks.

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