My partner and I went to a local antiques fair today, antiques being a real passion of his. I share this passion, but perhaps not to the same extent as he does, or shall I say his level of commitment to them is greater than mine in that he spends time researching and learning about his main areas of interest, whereas I simply enjoy their beauty and marvel at the craftsmanship each piece displays. This is simply because my time has to go towards work, and increasingly more importantly, towards learning and experiencing more about my spiritual path. One simply can’t do everything!
Today at the antique fair my attention was arrested by this picture, and I just had to share it with you, so I took a picture of it! It's not a very good picture - it's really hard to take photos of pictures because of the angle and because of the glass - but I'm sure this will give you a rough of idea of what it looks like.
This is a piece of art by Ivy Ruth Ellis. She was an artist who trained at the Birmingham School of Arts and Crafts and she worked mainly as a print maker using the woodcut, linocut and wood engraving techniques and she exhibited her work from 1920 – 1939.
When I saw this, I just stopped in my tracks! I couldn’t continue past the picture, I just had to stop and admire it. Something about it just drew me in, and I think it’s because as I looked at it I was caught up in the wonder and power of the moment the artist has captured here. The picture is called ‘Dawn’ and to me the figure here is worshipping the return of the new day, with all the wonder, hope, promise and inspiration it brings. Far more than that, here, somehow, is a celebration of connection with the elements of morning, new beginnings, spring – the element of Air, in the East. Air that brings us inspiration, ancient wisdom, creativity, clarity, discernment, the voice of Lord and Lady on the wind and within our core being. Air that brings the words and wisdom of our ancestors to us, Air that blows away the chaff, the nonsense, those things that no longer serve and separates the worthwhile from the worthless, sometimes with great force. The reality of this experience can be really rather painful.
In this picture my own sense of joy and celebration at not just the wonder of nature, but the reality of being part of Nature, at one with nature, connected to and connected with the secret source of power and energy of Nature, is captured. The joy and wonder within this picture is apparent and contagious and I just had to purchase it! At the moment it’s sat on the mantelpiece as I spend time admiring it and deciding just where it’s home should be, but my guess is that it will just have to take up residence in my Temple Room! I know this is where it belongs.
There is something pure, simple and powerful captured within this work of art. To me spirituality can be made so complex, yet for me it’s heart is a simple truth – I am connected to and am part of the One Divine Life. It’s the journey of discovering and then continuing to experience this truth that is often the complicated part! The childlike figure in this picture, naked before the Lord and Lady and spirits of nature, is celebrating and experiencing the wonder of this simple truth. She is in awe of Divinity and at one with her own divinity. She is enjoying and knowing what I have always said is at the very heart of my own spiritual path – the ecstatic embrace of the Divine.
So within this simple yet beautiful picture my entire spiritual path is captured. This childlike figure is enraptured in the joy of the One Divine Life and this is where my heart belongs. I can sense her tears of joy and happiness and I can feel the wonder and excitement within her heart. Her hands reach out, not in a desperate, needy, neurotic compulsion to feel connected, but in a joyous embrace of the Beloved as she celebrates the wonder and reality of this connection and she is at peace in the knowledge of her Oneness. Her reaching out is a response the embrace of the Beloved.
This is the new place that I want to step into.