A Light at the Tunnel’s End

The historic Donner Pass Train Tunnel Trail in Norden California, September 2020.

In the 90 plus days since my last post, much has happened in our world, and to each other. A seemingly unending global pandemic continues to rage as we mourn the loss of lives, of loves, and belief in the certainty that “everything is going to be alright” because “this too shall pass”. But there really is a light at the end of every dark tunnel and we can step into it if we just keep walking.

An easterly external view of the historic tunnel. Smoke from the numerous wildfires obscures the autumn sky.

We walked four of the nearly six mile hike, stopping frequently to marvel at some of the graffiti and mural work of various artists. I pondered the treacherous labor involved in the making of the tunnels and laying track that many Chinese immigrants endured leading up to its completion in 1867, and wondered what they might think of the artform.

Urban artists tagging a section of Tunnel 6.

We turned back after walking through the most inky darkness I have ever experienced. I was unnerved by the complete absence of light and shuddered in the cold eeriness of the moment. Rather than turn on a headlamp to dispel the fear tingling the hair on the back of my neck, I let myself feel the fear and kept walking forward. Ten steps letter, we spotted the first thin slice of light which then multiplied into twenty, then into the light at the end of the tunnel.

My sculpture “Haphazard” was made from materials found within the tunnels, now hangs on a wall inside Tunnel No. 6.

For more complete information about hiking the Donner Tunnels and other historical places worthwhile of exploring, I highly recommend checking out a few of my favorite resources for other recreational activities in the Lake Tahoe region:

https://www.calexplornia.com/
https://tahoetrailguide.com/hiking-the-historic-donner-pass-train-tunnels-in-truckee-ca/
https://www.parks.ca.gov/

Special thanks and gratitude to those who continue to support the work of artists. It is at times such as these that we are most needed to bring more light into the world.

Be well, stay safe.

~T.

© 2020 Theresa Mae Funk, all rights reserved.

Redeeming the Discarded

44″ x 54″ Tempura paint on cardboard.

We found the untitled work in the garage when we bought this house. Wrapped in black plastic, it leaned against a wall with other leftover materials and bric-a-brac that we inherited. I was thrilled to discover it, and immediately moved it upstairs to my work space for safe keeping and daily appreciation. Whomever the artist was, we shared in the value of redeeming what would have otherwise been discarded, destined for the landfill or recycling center.

Spontaneous Landscape No. 2. 12″x10″ mixed media on paper.

My attempts at converting reusable material into works of art doesn’t always result in a piece worthy of framing, but the process is cathartic.

Be well, stay well.

T.

Flower Portrait No. 33

Delicate clusters of aromatic blooms on the back yard garden’s Meyer Lemon tree.

Life may give you lemons, but what you do with the zest from the lesson is what dictates the outcome.  

Staying positive in times of uncertainty and turmoil can be tiring, but my determination to keep my optimism and sense of humor intact when faced with difficult situations has, thus far, endured. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to overcome challenges, fortify my courage, and comprehend the lessons that are meant for me to learn.

Be well, stay healthy.

T.

©2020, Theresa Mae Funk. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

You are Your Own Anemone: Flower Portrait No. 32

The purple Anemone I planted in the garden last week recovered from the recent torrential downpours that we were blessed to receive. The rain drenched and delicate petals reflecting the afternoon light bolstered my resolve to be less of an enemy to myself so that my art practice and creative purpose has a stronger chance to more fully bloom.

© 2020, Theresa Mae Funk. All rights reserved.

When I go Away From You

When I go away from you, I leave you wholeheartedly and without reserve.
If we are destined to endure each other,
Distance will be required from time to time.

When I go away from you, know that it is for our own good.
Speaking my truth to deafened ears serves neither of us,
And trying only deepens a silenced wound.

When I go away from you, I will return to remind you
Of how dearly you are loved,
Just before I say farewell.

© 2017, Theresa Mae Funk. All rights reserved.