“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity.”
The words of Viktor Frankl, the WW II concentration camp survivor who went on to greater fame as a psychotherapist and author, seemed to ring true for this square painting after I finished it. I saw the Red Tree here as one that finally saw its uniqueness in the world, sensing in the moment that with this individuality there came a mission that must be carried out.
A reason for being.
I think that’s something we have all desired in our lives. I know it was something I have longed for throughout my life and often found lacking at earlier stages. I remember reading Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, at a point when I felt adrift in the world. I read how the inmates of the concentration camp who survived often had a reason that they consciously grasped in order to continue their struggle to live. It could be something as simple as seeing the ones they loved again. Anything to give them a sense of future. Those who lost their faith in a future lost their will to live and usually perished.
At the time when I read this, I understood the words but didn’t fully comprehend the concept. I felt little meaning in my life and didn’t see one near at hand. It wasn’t to years later when I finally found what I do now that I began to understand Frankl’s words.
We are all unique beings. We all have unique missions. The trick is in recognizing our individuality and trusting that it will carry us forward into a future.
I’ve kept this short. There are many things that I could say here but the idea of finding one’s mission, ones meaning, is the thought that I see in this piece. This paintings is titled The Moment’s Mission and is 11″ by 11″ on paper. It is part of the Principle Gallery show that opens Friday.