By Sarah West

Another trip around the sun, a planetary orbit shifts. Stars align as I work feverishly into the night. At a frantic pace, I write of things as they come. An impending deluge of thought, ideas pour in and I attempt to record them all before they are gone. They are all tied together. Like the magician’s silk scarf, one idea lends itself to another. Seemingly endless is this renaissance.
I piece particles together, and weave storylines. Amid this process, I realize that all of it is comprised of events and experiences within my life. Write from what you know and capture your own time, are prominent rules that I live by. When you awaken to a grounded state of consciousness, like the stars, these thoughts align. In retrospect, your life’s timeline begins to make sense. Frustrations dissipate, and the strenuous uphill climb fades, just as you prepare to climb again. All experiences, good and bad, form the complex tapestry from which life illustrations are read. Like clock hands, we circle back around to the time where we began. Things are different now. Our skill of navigation has been tested, and we’ve explored many uncharted directions. All of this conditions us for the next voyage, as we peer further into the distance.
The events of my time, reflect the delicate hours of life, the revolving cycle reaffirms resilience and reborn ability to thrive. The stars and sun burn brighter this year illuminating our way as we journey onward and stronger still. Into the night, I record my thoughts, convictions and compose paint-worthy sketches. Perhaps these might ignite the spark that lights the night for the next time traveler.
Sarah West serves the Opelika Observer as a contributing columnist, with written works of cultural arts relevance and prose. She is a preservation and conservation advocate, activist and visual artist of American illustration with a focus on regional narrative painting. She is the founder of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, A Center for Cultural Arts, Smiths Station, Alabama’s premier fine arts destination. She is the appointed official artist to the city of Smiths Station, a Lee County syndicated columnist, the director of her art center’s Cultural Arts Outreach Initiative, which partners with local schools to make the arts accessible to all. She also serves a chief curator to the city of Smiths Station, City Hall Art Galleries. She is a founding member of the Smith Station Historic Commission. She is a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Board- Cary Center, Auburn University College of Human Science. She is an elected member of the Society of Illustrators-NYC. She mentors art students of every age through weekly classes at her studio located in the heart of Smiths Station, Alabama. To learn more about her work and activism visit,