IN A SCENE in a subtitled movie I watched this past weekend named "The Secret in their Eyes," you see the letter "a" added to the Spanish word temo ("fear") to form the phrase te amo ("I love you"). It was an ephiphany for me in the context of the movie and in the context of life and love in general. "Fear and love" are closely tied, even when "fear and loathing" are the words that are usually put together. Finding love again after loosing it is a fearful and arduous process.
I DECORATED this tree during the Christmas holidays last year as a gift for my cousin Angela at her apartment. She had ended a long relationship with her husband a few months before and this was my way of brightening her spirit. I wanted it to represent freedom and magic—the things you possess in abundance when love is new. I wanted her to be reminded to look toward that again. When I found the carousel horse clip-on ornaments with the bright pink feather plumes, I knew I had a basis for the tree. What could be better than the freedom and magic a circus horse represents? Even though such horses are usually acting within predetermined path formed in training, one knows they are spirited animals that might just run free at any moment.
THIS IS THE first tree I've put together in a long while for someone besides myself or my blog readers. Even though the bright pink feather plumes had already set me into motion, I came up with the color scheme, later finding out that hot pink and baby blue was one of Angela's favorite color combinations. She told me this when I called her up and let her know what I was thinking for her tree. I could tell the tree was going to do what I set out for it to do. Hearing from her that it made her happy was all I needed to hear. I was more than glad to help her bring that bright, glittery spot back to the forefront in her life.
HAVING LOVED and lost several times in my life, Angela conversely had married her high school sweetheart and was suddenly back in the world again as a single person after a very long relationship. She's quite strong and resourceful, but I knew it was a hard time for her. Realizing that love can dim over time is a huge lesson in life. It seems so natural and free (and abundant) when you're falling in love, but falling out of love is a time of reflection and soul-searching. It's a hard thing to do—to learn to love yourself enough again to engage the world in that free and magical way—the way one does when your heart is open.
IT SHOULD BE a lesson for all of us that fear and love have the similar fine line between them as fear and loathing do. They both bring about the quickening of the pulse and breath and elevate all sorts of physical/chemical reactions. In each scenario though, flight is two different things. One can either run away from or run toward love. And "fight or flight" is a commonly known reaction. Sometimes it's not easy to determine just which path you're taking, or which way you have conditioned your actions. We all know actions speak louder than words.
BUT IF ONE remembers the freedom found in the pure place found at the heart of things, then it's easy to gallop or fly toward the stuff of freedom and magic.
SHIMMER AND SHINE | (Top) This ice blue retro metallic tree is set in a heavy alabaster tree stand from the short-lived product catalog “Martha by Mail” a few years back. With hues of sage green, pink, blue and silver, a whimsical circus-like look is achieved, representing finding your bliss in freedom and magic.
HORSING AROUND | (2nd from top) The unusual leather-clad hand-painted zebra (I found left on a park bench without an owner) adds a fun element at the base of the tree in combination with an array of Indian mercury glass ornaments. A blue glass dish of salt water taffy completes the childlike mood.
PURITY OF HEART | (3rd from top) The German-made heart is a direct nod to the freedom found in the purity of action in opening your heart for love. The hot pink-plumed plastic clip on circus horse busts are from an inexpensive ornament 2010 line from Target. The pink, blue and sage green baubles in varying sizes are a playful way to carry out the color scheme.
FREEDOM AND WISDOM | (Bottom) Mercury glass German bird ornaments with proud silvery tails were the find of the 2010 holiday season at Homegoods. The pink owl is from the 2009 season at Urban Outfitters and is a reminder that freedom only lasts if tempered with a certain amount of wisdom.
©2011 DARRYL MOLAND | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Collecting and styling by Darryl Moland,
Photography by Troy Farina.
Photography by Troy Farina.