The Great Divide – Schwabacher’s Landing Room Divider


Once upon a time there was a Little Girl.  She grew up working long, hard, tedious hours in the potato fields of rural Idaho. Her dreams, however, were greater than her fears so she applied the tenacity and perseverance she had acquired in those potato fields, and, through her brush, worked on her dreams until she had painted everything from the racehorses of the Kentucky Derby to the Charro riders of California.  Maturing her gifts, the Little Girl-Artist, followed the lineage of Trigger, Roy Rogers’ horse, by painting a great great great grandson of the famous golden Palomino.  She traced the passage of time on the Blue Turf of Boise, dabbled among animals at Zoo Boise, and soared to great heights in the skies above the capital city. The Artist painted horses and people and mountains and flowers. She painted small pieces and big pieces from coast to coast.  She painted exterior murals up to a 100 feet long and filled entire offices with her art.

The Artist felt the thrill of accomplishing a large public mural in Eagle that was filmed and made into an award-winning documentary; and when she painted three Kentucky Derby winning rides of Idaho’s own; Gary Stevens, and painted commissioned works of Boise’s own beloved Bronco football team and some of their famous coaches. She felt her heart overflow completing pieces of art that were received with joy by many.

Until one day later in her life, the Artist poured her heart and soul into this painting of the holy Tetons that had formed the backdrop to her days in the potato fields.  Painting stroke upon stroke of peace and beauty of the Tetons viewed from famous Schwabacher’s Landing, she realized she could only see and copy such beauty with her brush. She observed that hammering the back copper panels, and allowing nature’s chemical reactions to change them, produced gorgeous browns and piercing blues whose intricate beauty surpassed any art she had ever created. The Artist understood that no matter how hard she tried, no matter how many accolades she received, she was merely copying what nature had already perfectly created. Her role was that of the scrivener; to capture, to record a moment of glorious beauty so that others could enjoy her captured reflection of  it. 

Exhausted, the Artist paused. After all that she had seen and done, she wondered why praise and pride were so fleeting and why so much of nature’s beauty was missing from the human experience. 

Studying the beauty of existence and the angst of living, she was filled with longing for solid peace and purpose. Understanding came slowly.  The answer, she learned, resided in the acceptance of inevitable death, unpredictable life, and living fully committed to the Present because that was where purpose, and therefore peace, were experienced.

Knowing this the Artist picked up her brush and began anew. This time understanding that purpose and peace were experienced in the process of creating and sharing; not the end result.

The purpose of creating and sharing gave volume and bulk to the Present, allowing the fears of life and death to recede into the past and future stopping them from taking up so much space in her thoughts.

Living life in the Present, she thought, is like listening to music. The enjoyment and thrill is not in the ending bar, but all along the way, in every word, note and nuance of it.