Monday, September 5, 2016
And the next addition to the Judaic series is.....
In recent years, I had taken a serious break from the Judaic series. Unfortunately, the business side of being an artist eats up more and more of one's time these days.
Besides business, real life sometimes gets in the way...don't you just hate when that happens?
During these past few years of health issues, I have maintained my need to create with a camera in my hand instead of a brush. I've learned to keep 'painting' abstracts with pieces of my abstract photographs. The results have been more than exciting.
That said, there's nothing like the feel of that old brush, with paint peeling off the handle from years of wear and tear. There's nothing quite like feeling the taut resistance of the brush against a freshly stretched canvas. There is nothing like staring down a blank canvas, knowing full well that anything is possible to appear within a matter of hours. Painting is powerful and magical.
During this time away from my easel, I wore a charm around my neck with the biblical words of Moses, beseeching G-d to heal his sister Miriam whom G-d had punished for her words. I recently passed the charm onto a dear friend who needs it now. She will return it to me when her healing is complete so I can pass it on as needed. It looks like a new tradition has started....
SO once I realized I was ready to paint again, I was stuck. There is no lack of resource material for my Judaic series with so many psalms, proverbs, blessings and prayers available in our liturgy. Yet nothing was screaming at me to be addressed. Instead, I kept coming back to these 5 words I wore around my neck...the ones Moses said with such staccato precision. " G-d, please, heal her, please."
As usual, I checked out the proper Torah cantillation for these words as said in the book of Bamidbar.
I chanted it over and over again yet nothing was emerging from my head or heart as a starting point to paint.
As I researched, my notebook was filling up, but still no inspiration. Then along came Rabbi Rachel Barenblat's words from her blog, 2006. If you haven't yet discovered her, it is my pleasure to introduce you and I encourage you to find your inspiration as well. Her website is Velveteen Rabbi
In her blog, she referenced her Talmud teacher who had made a connection between the 11 letters of Moses' plea to the 11 lettered name G-d used at the burning bush. Moses asked what name he should give the Israelites and G-d responded,
Eyheh Asher Eyheh, "I will be who/what I will be."
Each of us, created in the image of G-d, is also capable to be who/what we will be. Our loved ones with their illnesses, have the ability to change and transform. Our authentic intention in saying these five words, have the power to reach our Creator, to heal just as Miriam was healed, and speedily.
I looked at the blank canvas with ink in hand and thought of the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, kaf. Such a beautifully designed letter.....a circle not yet complete, but on its way to becoming whole. It is no coincidence that the very shape of this letter implies the possibility of wholeness.
Nor is it a coincidence that the first letter of the word Kavanah ( the sacred intention for praying) happens to be the letter kaf.
I was ready to begin painting.
This image with complete text, can be found at: JUDAIC SERIES