I sat, scrolling through Twitter one morning, reading the dark news du jour. My news feed was a car wreck of unfolding horrors, and even though my heart was racing, I remained fixated on the screen.
I am so glad I did.
With one swipe up with my forefinger, an image appeared that sent an electric shock through me, jolting me upright.
At first, my eyes were all over the place, scanning up and down, left and right. I was mesmerized by the geometry, composition, colors, and overall feeling of the work. There was a powerful, magnetic pull of the piece, paint strokes as outstretched arms, inviting me in. I followed the work’s call to set the world (and her mundane concerns) aside and allow unfolding depths and messages greet me at the surface.
The artist, Hilma af Klint of Sweden, reached across the decades from her studio, and enveloped me in curiosity, intrigue, and delight.
I quickly did some research and learned that the exhibition of her work was showing at The Guggenheim in New York. I got out my planner, chose a week to travel, and booked a flight. In less than 10 minutes from having seen af Klint’s art for the very first time, I had committed to making a week-long trip with only one thing on my itinerary … to be immersed in her art in one of the most intriguing architectural masterpieces in the world.
My decision to follow the siren call of the painting to NYC began rearranging my future reality. Slowly, and invisible to me at first, events, invitations, and meetings began taking form. Like small bubbles taking shape in water reaching a boiling point, I noticed how my adventure in New York had developed a life of its own.
Beautiful, synchronous opportunities simply showed up at my door, placed by hands I couldn’t see. One after another they came, and I stood like a bemused security guard waving them all inside.
I’m in the middle of my adventure in NYC as I write, and even though I’m living each delicious experience, I still find it hard to believe how this everlasting gobstopper of inspired moments was packaged up in a tidy Bento Box and simply handed to me.
While writing in a cafe overlooking Central Park the other morning, I realized that my following what spoke most deeply to my soul was the precise engine that set everything in motion. I did not need to know what the trip was going to be in advance. Nor did I need to make plans from a place of forced outcomes.
All I had to do was say, “Yes. I’d love to. Thank you for inviting me.”
I learned that Hilma af Klint requested that her work not be shown until at least 20 years following her death. She believed that the world was not quite ready to receive her séance-inspired paintings, and she wanted her work to resonate with those who were prepared to receive it fully.
She also envisioned that her work would be exhibited in what she called “a spiral temple” so that it could be installed for best viewing. How could she see—in fact, create—that precise future reality? I stood on the spirals of The Guggenheim floors and wished desperately that I could ask her.
And then I realized I already knew the answer.
By gathering up what calls to our hearts, like picked apples in an apron tied to our waist, we can (at anytime of our choosing) set in motion our best destinies. With hands outstretched to the sky, we can reach, and find our fingers closing around future dreams realized.