or 'The Wonder in Us'
by Ellie Cashman
As they emerge out of the darkness and into the light, flowers provide us with powerful symbols of our common human longing for transcendence, for that brief experience of the divine, the moment we are closest to ‘God’, magic, enlightenment, nirvana … or whatever one might call it.
As did the still life painters of the Dutch Golden Age, I paint flowers in all their states, with an emphasis on those that break through this threshold from dark to light, from seed to stalk to bud to full, extravagant bloom.
The shadows, and the darker states, are part of, and support and indeed exaggerate, this triumphant flower in the peak of its glory.
While it’s not without foreboding, all in all the imagery provides the viewer with a sense of hope and inspiration, encouraging her on toward her moment, when a bud bursts into full bloom and her heart breaks … open, when that strongest of human longings is fulfilled, and she achieves - even if just for a brief moment - the best expression of herself.
The splendor of that moment is indeed that it is so hard fought, and won. And as fast as it comes, it is gone again.
This is why we’re here; this is what we're after - to love, to work, to do or make or give something that has meaning for another, and to participate in the endless cycle of birth, life, death and (re)birth, a cycle that connects us to all the living world.
This is our essential reason for being, and it is full of contradictions. It is known to our hearts but a mystery to our minds; it is deeply personal and yet utterly universal … We are, each and every one of us, in pursuit of it.
And because names for it are as elusive as the thing itself, I have come to call it ‘the wonder in us.’
© 2016 Ellie Cashman
- Ellie Cashman
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