A Gift Received

David Wilson came to offer this expression after visiting the “Giving” page of this website. It invites not only monetary gifts, but gifts “of art or expression.” I love having gotten a response to this offer to give in this way; to have received of David’s gift, a gift of his own heart and soul and story. I am enriched by it, and trust that you will be too.


Terra Incognita, by David Wilson

For me, this painting continues to be an instance of God’s miraculous consideration of my earthly sojourn:

About 30 years ago I painted this picture. It was months before it was completed and months again before I was given an unexpected invitation to show some art in a Vancouver, B.C. exposition: an International Schizophrenia Conference. I didn’t mind that it was largely a place where drugs were espoused to be solutions for schizophrenia. It offered a showplace for the art of ‘schizophrenics’ and this meant me! I had been diagnosed, so I qualified. Here, in this ACOL context, I can say that my ‘problems’ were due to a lack of education about the real God…and my use and abuse of drugs!

A few days into the exposition I was contacted by someone who told me that a potential buyer, a psychologist, was interested and that she would like to pay through monthly installments. Not only did I accept her proposition but I also reduced the price by $600 out of delighted gratitude. The price of the painting, $1600, was my highest ever and I did not expect it to sell.

Months later, I met this person, as it happens, for the second time! The first time had been 14 years earlier in Montreal, thousands of miles to the east. On this second occasion I was having tea in her, Tonnar’s, kitchen where she would alter details on the cheque (check) of her final payment. For God knows (literally) what reason, I had been relating an experience I had in Montreal in which a lady saved me from sheer humiliation and despair. She had retrieved four bags from her bank so I might retain hundreds of papers of my writings and drawings. My cardboard box had been falling apart! I had no other possessions to my name. While we spoke over tea so many years later, my hostess and patron blurted out, “That was me! I thought you looked familiar!” The painting had brought us together again, 14 years and 2500 miles away!

I do not believe a ‘coincidence’ of this proportion was incidental. I recall Tonnar’s words that, even as she entered the Schizophrenia Conference arena, she had a ‘feeling’ that, there, she would encounter something of special significance to her. When she first saw the picture, she thought “I know what this means!” I believe God (and/or some of ‘His’ agents), are concerned with my/our creative efforts, even presently. We also discovered that we knew certain people in common and that I was then living in the same duplex where one of these had provided Baha’i meetings that I’d attended! Perhaps paradoxically, the image in the lower right of the painting is of Leonard Cohen, whom I had met under no less ‘unlikely’ circumstances 7 years earlier. He had purchased my first publicly presented painting which happened to have him as the subject. That too was miraculous, given the unlikelihood of our meeting. Had I not seen him briefly outside the store where I worked, looking in, that sale and meeting would never have taken place.

Years later, I was in search of Brent Haskell online when I found Kathy Scott Perry. Inspired by a wonderful channeled work, I sent to her “Jesus My Autobiography” and she encouraged me to check out her friend, Mari Perron. And here I am! Who knows what may happen next? Maybe I’ll get to have that coffee with Bob Dylan!


David W. Wilson
White Rock, B.C.