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Art - Memories

ICSA Today, Vol. 3, No. 2.
Arts: Watercolor Painting: Memories

by April Galamin

I was inspired to create this painting while walking with my kids down a back road in northern Wisconsin. The last time I had been up there was before we relocated for our cult. Had a decade really gone by?

I had made memories in northern Wisconsin when I was young, before I joined the cult. But once we uprooted our lives for the “true church,” there just didn’t seem to be time to make a trip back to Wisconsin. I needed to be “redeeming the time,” not wasting it on getaways! In my cultic mindset, I anticipated that my good times would be coming in heaven. This life, for a “true believer,” was for suffering, sacrificing, and putting to death our own desires and wants.

I had left the cult 2 years before I took this trip to the Northwoods with my children and relatives. My kids and I were excited, but my daughter could not recall her time there as a toddler, and my son had only heard about, and never seen, “the cabin.” I felt so free after we arrived; so much reminded me of the good and carefree times of my youth.

One evening, taking a leisurely walk with the kids while the sun was setting, I felt like I was in another world: Sunbeams filtered through the trees, shadows cast on the road created an interesting pattern of lines, and colors seemed surreal where the road looked purple; and the atmosphere had a mysterious quality to it.

With no religious pressure on me, I could simply enjoy the scene with wonder and appreciate the moment for what it was. I thought about life and all of its struggles and unanswered questions, and about the good in life, too.

I have tried to capture that moment in this painting. The shadows cast on the road with the sunset represent the fleeting moments in life. Although we have freed ourselves from abusive religion, we still have our struggles. But every day is a chance to make new memories that are, hopefully, good as we try to appreciate and live fully in the here and now.
About the Artist

April Galamin is a former member of a KJV-only Bible cult.[1] Involved with her group for 19 years, she and her family walked away from it 5 years ago, in 2007. April not only paints, but she also has created a comic strip, My Life of Hell in the Kingdom, which was shown in the 2012 Phoenix Project at the ICSA Conference in Montreal, and in ICSA Today, Vol. 3, No. 2.

[1] The “King James Only movement” advocates the superiority of the Authorized King James Version (KJV) of the Protestant Bible.