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During one of my hospital visits, a patient said he was "trying not to feel angry." How do we integrate feelings we would rather dismiss? The painting process, along with Rumi's poem, The Guest House, allowed me to explore a response.
The Outstretched Arms of Sorrow and Joy
Rather than defending a dualistic approach to life, couldn't we entertain that the emotions of sorrow and joy run simultaneously and interweave inside a person? One outstretching leads to suffering, whereas the same posture expresses ecstasy.
This painting is titled “Theotokos” or God-bearer. It is my version of the Nativity and includes the usual angels, shepherds, kings and a star. The most significant difference is that my baby Jesus is not swaddled and resting in a manger of hay. Instead, we encounter the incredible power of the female body birthing divinity.
My inner child shows up in this painting as a reminder to listen to the essential self or what some might call the soul. Simultaneously, she looks to the SOURCE of life (notice the letters) in the skies for guidance .
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