I was recently at a peaceful gathering, a space held by a dear friend of mine, for people to meet and share creative juju. We were welcome to draw, converse, dance, sing and, if the urge was to arise, perform shadow puppets. It was on this night that I met the quietly creative, Mr. Rhubarb Dada.
Over the course of the evening, I watched this young man's silent progress of an image that completely alluded me. From what I could see, he was sketching with coloured pencils, colouring with high-lighters and building with pastels. I'd look over with intrigue every ten minutes or so, each time taken away by the depth that the next layer brought with it.
When complete, Dada revealed it with an aloof gesture. I felt my eyes search the image before me. I was immediately enamoured of it and I couldn't identify why. He politely allowed me to take it from him and sit quietly with it for a time. I am positive I appeared to be that crazy lady who does weird shit at a party, and you're not sure whether to laugh or just let her do her thing and back away because you fear she might pull out a knife at any given moment. However, I hope that wasn't the case.
So, I sat, with this picture a few feet from me, and poured myself into it. As I opened myself to its presence, more information came forth. The image began to reveal itself and I couldn't look away. It was a book of which I couldn't keep from turning the pages. The more I looked, the more I saw, and the more I saw, the more I knew.
The image I see tells me a story of a man searching for unity. On his journey, he has discovered great lands, experienced the kindness and cruelty of others, and learned many lessons of the self. But he has never connected with what is in his own heart.
A recent event, of which we know not, has brought him to the brink of the abyss. A place where he has been presented with a choice. To jump, become one with all things, feel pure bliss wash through his being, and completely release all doubt and fear to the Universe. But in doing this, he loses his identity, sense of self and all ownership of everything he ever knew. Or he can retreat, continue to live out his existence as a wanderer, searching for a love that resides within, forever hidden from view.
He chooses freedom.
This is a portrait of a man becoming one with the abyss. He is coming to, not just learn, but know that his body, his mind, his idea of the soul, means nothing. The body is a mere vessel to carry a spirit separate from the Source. An embryo that grows, develops and inevitably dies. In death, the body disintegrates, so the spirit can return to the Mother. He knows that his body is no longer required. He has always been connected to God because he is of God, therefore, is also God. And if he has this inside of himself, so does every other living being. We are all the same. We are all from a place of pure love. We have each pulled away to learn and grow, to return stronger.
He is watching as the atoms of his body begin to pull away from each other. They no longer hold together so tightly. He is letting go and they follow suit. His expression holds no fear, but awe. How wonderful his journey has been, to bring him to this.
The grey and white shape in the bottom right-hand corner, for me, is a microscope. It represents the microcosm that this man is now truly part of. It is in the forefront because if his awareness of it.
But this is just my impression.
I call this story "The Fool's Ascension." The piece itself does not yet have a name. Mr. Rhubarb Dada, if you are reading this, I invite you to provide one. I know you said this was a still-life for you. So, perhaps, your title can lead us through your thought process. Or give it a super far out name that will make the everyone say, "What the actual fuck...?" That, too, would be most brilliant.
I love abstract art. It affords the on-looker interpretation of, not only the image, but their own mind. What we see in the picture is a reflection of ourselves. If we take the time, we can experience a brief connection with the artist and listen to what they are communicating to us. Or maybe we can just take the time to connect with ourselves and our own feelings.
The magic is in the interpretation.