Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul

My last paintings have alot of blue sky.

This one does not.

I feel it is important to express the "good" as well as the "bad".

There's been some tough times on my journey-- materially and existentially. The cold wet Winter comes to mind going through Holland. Going days without really meeting anyone. Setting up my tent in a swamp forest in a crazy windstorm. Mechanical breakdowns in the middle of nowhere. Using the wrong type of fuel in my stove and ruing it, my food and my pots. A day or two with little to no food. Trying to hunt ducks with a rock. Yep. Its not all blue sky.

And there's another one that I really didn't expect: Walking through the streets of Berlin surrounded by hundreds of people, knowing no one, feeling separate and alone. Thomas Moore calls it "a dark night of the soul".

Thomas Moore also writes that it is in the darkest of night that dawn is most near.

On one particularly lonely, wet and cold Winter day I was cycling through a desolately gray and barren Dutch "forest" when something caught my eye. On the side of the path were these little alien-esque entities peaking through the dead brown leaves. I stopped, bent over and inspected the little white flowery things. It appeared that something was green and growing!

We don't have these in Canada. Later I learned that they are called 'snow drops' or snei glockleine. They are the very first plants in Europe to pop out at as Winter nears Spring.

In the painting a man kneels. The night is so dark. The road is has been long. The moon is but a distant crescent. The tree is barren. He is weary. Yet in that dark hour, in that cold winter night is the first glimmer of light. Are surely as the sun set, and so it will rise again. As surely as the leaves fell, so shall they grow again. A fragile flower speaks its reminder.

A re-minder that love can find you anywhere.

So chill. Let it come. Be with your night.

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