“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die we cannot remember who were were or why we are here”
- Sue Monk Kidd (author)
This art work is the first in a new series called 'Shenanigans in the Garden of Earthly Delights'. This series uses art to tell stories of personal significance.
THE YELLOW SHOE is the story of a friend who bought a pair of yellow shoes to attend a wedding that had special significance for her. The wedding offered her forgiveness (for herself), joy, love, sharing and psychological integration, but to reach it, she had to go back to a particularly difficult moment in her past.
The yellow shoes represents her courage to arrive as she was, now, in her life, afraid but not diminished. The pink flowers (also the flowers on her dress) symbolises the abundance of love that surrounded her, especially the support given so freely and abundantly by her partner, who accepted every aspect of her story without judgment. The fish, frog and butterflies are all transformation symbols; the snake tells us to be aware - that this is a scene of great psychological significance.
The magpie, a symbol of good fortune and abundance, is also a trickster, thief and hoarder, attracted to and ready to steal our treasures. Here the magpie is taking the garnet from the shoe, whilst the fish is trying the catch the bead that has loosened (the frog is uncertain whether it wants the magic shiny stone or the juicy fly on the leaf) reminding us that we must hold fast to that which is precious to us as it can be taken away, even preyed on.
The shoe is on a box, floating in the water, symbolising a dangerous journey - here protected by the butterflies - who knows that keeping the shoes from falling into the water, requires faith and inner strength. They are symbols of protection - guiding a precious object through treacherous waters.
The frog, both a land and water animal, represents a mediation between the unconscious and conscious experience - and like the butterflies, symbolises the treacherous journey into the dark corners of our soul to find the liberation we seek. Overall, the painting is asking us to be brave when facing fears from the past, to trust that we will be protected by those who love us unconditionally and always, always remember to wear your yellow shoes!