Acrylic on canvas
What’s your name? Or more than a name, your identity? Have you taken to heart what others have said about you? The good and the bad, the prideful and shameful?
As I was painting this scene I was listening to a book called The Soul of Shame by Dr. Curt Thompson. (I will probably need to listen again or read it to absorb just a portion of it.) It talks of the stories we tell ourselves, consciously or not, about ourselves. How they were shaped by those around us. (How unlike guilt which says you did something bad, shame attacks the person, you are bad.)
So I smiled when I realized I was painting what happens to be a famous formation, singled out for being shaped like Mjölnir. This scene is inspired by Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. It not really a Canyon, but a series of amphitheaters filled with thousands of carved orange rocks called hoodoos. Most are nameless, but there is one of note: Thor’s Hammer. It’s the hoodoo featured in the bottom center of the painting. Thanks to Marvel most people know about Thor and his hammer. So because someone thought the top resembled a weapon, this hoodoo has been given much attention. It’s fame increased. Yet it’s made of the same stuff as other hoodoos all around it, it continues to be weathered by the elements.
Amazing the power of words, and names, for building up or tearing down. You might feel like the unknown rock in the shadow of Thor’s hammer, unnoticed, blending in. Yet regardless if your name is known or not, you are significant.