|"Let it Pour," March 2012--mixed media collage |
(vintage and decorative paper, watercolor, acrylic and graphite on canvas)
I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own *cenotaph,*
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
--from "The Cloud"
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
In college I majored in Literature; the Romantic Poets were always my favorites. I found this Shelley poem today (read all 6 stanzas here) and it reminded me of how much I used to love doing my homework (I have always been a "nerd" in that way)--reading and contemplating poems like this one, picking them apart and trying to make sense of it all.
A *cenotaph* is a monument to honor the dead, which has been built somewhere other than where the body is actually buried. It comes from the Greek word "kenotaphion" which is a combination of "kenos" (empty) + "taphos" tomb. In the final stanza of this poem the cloud represents resurrection--and the "dome" of the blue sky is only a memorial, an empty monument, one built in vain because the storms will always raise back to life, will keep coming back to disrupt the calm. But the storms of life are connected to what? To rebirth, to resurrection. WOW!
I created this piece last week as I was coming out of a "low" that lasted the whole month of February. Must be because spring is coming!!! Somehow the dreary little rainclouds began to symbolize the hope that can come even from the storms of life (and maybe especially from those storms).
We build our shrines to happiness and perfection, trying to capture the meaning of life in our successful accomplishments, in our well-behaved families, in our spotless homes and stylish clothes. All of these things are good--like a sunny day without a cloud in the sky. But we tend to want to hide our flaws when they crop up like storm-clouds (I know I do!), pretend that clear skies are all that exist, or at least are all that should exist! When the truth is that it's the dreary fog and the muddy rain that nourish us--if we let them, the hard times in life build the character and wisdom we need to handle the good times with grace and to cherish them for all they are worth.
So I say, Let it Pour.
Let's open our hearts to the "resurrection" of the cloud--learn from our mistakes, take heart even in our disappointments, lean on Strong Arms when our hearts are torn in two--and rise up to soak in as much Sun as we can while we get ready for the next challenge. Bring it on!
A Beautiful weekend to you--blue skies or gray.
Linking up with Studio JRU, Paint Party (Happy Birthday, PPF!!!)