Escape From Oz
This painting was inspired by some thoughts about the power of a decision. Many times, I have found myself putting up with a bad situation for quite some time before it finally dawns on me that I have the power to change things by simply deciding that I am not going to tolerate it any longer.
As you will recall, in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy finds herself trapped in a world not of her choosing and not to her liking; Dorothy is dropped into a strange unnatural world of too bright colors, weird characters, and dark horrors. She keeps waiting for someone else (Oz) to provide a solution or answer, or for circumstances to change on their own. Ultimately, she discovers that all she has to do in order to get where she wants to be is click her heels together and repeat the phrase, “there’s no place like home”.
Life is not that easy, but the principle is the same. However, the magic lies within us and not our ruby slippers. I am not trying to say that change is easy. My point is that nothing can happen until the decision is made.
The seeds for this painting were planted in my soul by the addicts I used to work with in Drug Court. When you work with addicts you quickly learn that all of the treatment – counseling, medication, classes, supervision, encouragement, incarceration, and enforcement – will not move an addict one step closer to recovery… unless the addict wants to do it. Once the decision is made the hard work begins. With addiction, the decision is the beginning and not the end of the process.
Lest we start to feel too superior, we have to remember that none of us are perfect and there are parts of all of our lives that need work. The key is that the first step is the decision. We have to decide, truly decide, to make changes. We have to be fully committed. Change will never happen if we try to keep one foot in the Land of Oz.
Image and Text © James Golaszewski 2015
If I Only Had A Brain
I could wile away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain
I’d unravel any riddle
For any individ’le
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain
Oh, I would tell you why
The ocean’s near the shore
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I’d sit and think some more
I would not be just a nuffin’
My head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain
Harold Arlen (music) and E.Y. Harburg (lyrics). The song is sung in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz