I have been working on a "creation" painting, recently, which invites me into a highly symbolic space each time I pick up the brush. It could be said to represent a coupling of the highest male and female energies, resulting in what we know as the manifest world. The imagery speaks loud and clear to the "sensual" within the contemplative...and like the nebula in which this mythical god and goddess are united, truth flies out cloaked in stars and planets, in cast shadows from a light so brilliant that it defies physical eyes.
You and I are this brilliance, with the cosmic dust of our common body of ideas condensed around our spinning cores. There appears a density, a gravity in which we come to believe we are somehow "trapped", and which we tend to fight in ways subtle and overt through most of our too-brief lives. But that dark gravitational pull is where we must go in order to taste freedom.
Always, in the midst of this struggle, there is a whisper (or a cry) of "God, this can't be all there is--can it?" It is the most painful grief and longing for love, for meaning and purpose. It is truly an awful sensation to think of oneself as being netted in a nightmare of some kind. And this grief, this longing is generally unexpressed, locked down in shame and fear. And when we look at it, off-guard because exhaustion drops some defenses, it appears as an ugly body, or bad news, a planet in turmoil, collapsing ways, mental or physical illness, or despair. On better days, it might be just a big, blank, unscaleable wall...the better to turn away from.
What we ignore or imprison tends to creep out (or explode) into destructive acts and deafness to the pleas of the heart and the wisdom of the body...as evidenced, perhaps, by our current belief in personal and social dilemmas.
Synchronously, the phrase "Lover Earth" has made its appearance a few times while I have been involved in this painting. Earth is indeed our mother, but in the course of maturity, she must morph into our lover, as well, if we are to stop being lost and selfish children. I am not speaking necessarily from an obviously "responsible", save-the-world point of view. I am talking about allowing a shift in our deepest personal (and by extension, universal) psyche, within and without our mental/emotional/physical bodies.
An interesting thing happens when this deep longing for love and truth is acknowledged and carried to term. "Carrying" means not feeding the longing with typical reactionary behavior or intellectual conclusion. "Term" is when truth is born, when you gaze in hopeless bliss upon a face that always sees and feels you, because it is your own.
The process is akin to being pregnant with oneself (as Earth always is). Dwelling in the womb of longing without an answer, what we reject is presented to us again and again until we understand that we are rejecting the very body, literally and figuratively, that brings us life. In psychological terms, our rejected aspects become "shadow selves" that haunt us, like lost pieces of soul. This understanding is more than a way to "claim wholeness" or experience "acceptance", however. It is something foundational, something felt in the bones, a steadiness that allows a standing, a balancing with our own ability to fall.
When rejection ceases...
...the "shadow" is clearly seen.
Imagine a dark light.
Imagine the absolute opposite of everything you experience, as if total voiding stood directly behind anything you can sense--your very consciousness.
Imagine the complete lack of surety, of solidity, and an utter immersion in a question that continually answers itself.
Imagine watching the universe slide into nothingness, which gives birth to you.
I say "imagine", though it isn't any resultant image that is the point or the feeling. It is rather the allowing of oneself to be in the position or stance of openness to something "impossible" that creates the blasts of energy which we call awareness.
Being aware this way, it is impossible not to fall in love, in the only love. It's a love that is beyond any fear of death, because it is backed by a complete mystery, nourished by the continuous dissolution of what appears. Still, there is this and that, word and silence, somehow emerging in a purity that I am continuously thankful I cannot injure!
I can paint it all day, write poetry to it all night, knowing this is nothing more than an endless throwing of myself into that which bursts me into being again, still. This is a woman, a planet, a life/death completely out of control. This is a soul undivided and free to multiply...