Today more than ever as a society and as individual we need to have and share a vision of hope and truth.
Back in 2007, when many of the ideas in this blog were originally posted, I was thinking about time in my life, and in the lives people I’ve known, when we individually dealt with the loss of a loved one, sickness and financial hardships. Today, we share in a recession including the many layoffs and unemployment, the foreclosures and the financial problems that are now also faced by a great deal of the world.
In the 23rd Psalm, the words translated as, “As I walk through valley of the shadow of death” can and is also translated as, “As I walk through the valley overshadowed by death.”
This may seem a slight distinction, but to me, the overshadowing of a valley seems darker than “the shadow of death.” That overshadowing seems total. Darker. Plus, the image evoked is more real.
Yet the description is of a shadow, a kind of darkness that can actually touch and “cover” us, as shadows do, but is not really a part of us. We can step out of a shadow.
Apparently there is another Hebrew version of the text, which translates as: “the valley of deepest darkness.” This seems worse yet, as it would be the darkest.
There are times in life where we feel that we are going through a valley of deepest darkness. When it is difficult to even marshal up any hope for the future, no less find some good in the current moment. For me, these were the times when I have also felt very alone and diminished in some way, such as by the loss of someone very close to me.
There is always some light that may seem hidden but that can be revealed in any darkness that is either perceived with the eyes or the soul. That physical light can be detected by instruments, and you can also easily learn to see more of it. For many people, this special physical light is symbolic of the very words and ongoing presence of The Divine.
The theory of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image art grew out of Judeo-Christian theology that begins with Genesis 1:3, “Let there be light.” Light is vital to our universe and without it there would be no colors, paintings or art. For Jews and Christians without the words of The Divine there would be no world.
The symbolism of the dark valley of the Psalm 23, suggests Genesis Chapter 1, when “darkness was on the face of the deep.”
Prior to the portion about the valley, the psalmist wrote that “He leads me in paths of righteousness from the sake of His name [or His name's sake].’ Following entering the dark valley the psalm continues, “I shall fear no evil, for Thou [The Lord] art with me.”
Back in January 2007, I was reading about studies of famous creative by neurological scientists. One dealt with how music affects our brains. Another study is researching a finding that the creative visual place in the human brain is close or coincides with the area that also deals with insanity.
For me, insanity would be the darkest place and we all — to some degree — deal with our own neurosis or illogical fears and concerns. Coping with the discomfort of believing lies (denial), unwanted emotions and fears leads to behavior that is out of control. A severe amount of this would be catatonia while the mild everyday –I can-cope-with-it variety leads all manner of behaviors that we resolve change repair every New Year.
It struck me as amazingly “coincidental” that the brain area that deals with area is near or coincides with the creatively visual area.
Ninty percent of (90%) of vision happens in the brain as it decodes impressions of light sent by the eyes. To see is to discern darkness from light. That kind of decoding (discernment) also occurs when we have a sudden inspiration or understanding and “see the light”. Think of all the cartoons that indicate the character getting an idea through the now universally understood symbol of a bright light bulb by the cartoon character’s head.
Inspiration, a new idea of vision can be understood as: light suddenly coming out of darkness.
Of course, that was before I realized in the spring of 2008 that when one sees enough (enough varies for individuals) of my artwork, one gains Awakened Vision thanks to the memories of that art, which the brain uses to decode more visual information. People who have gained Awakened Vision experience seeing more.
When we do not turn towards The Divine and follow our inspiration, our unique revealed path before us, we will inevitably go in a different direction. We stray, even for the moment, when we allow negative emotions to control us saying a few “deserved” but demeaning harsh words (which will make us feel better somehow) or tell a small, seemingly harmless white lie so our lives will be more convenient or acceptable to others, or pretend that a situation that we do not like does not exist, we turn away from what we know is true.
Instead, sometimes simply trudging along in the valley of deepest darkness, even somewhat blindly, serves to take us to a new place of inspiration where suddenly a “feast” is found, our cup runs, which moves us toward the fulfillment of our greatest needs and hopes. We see light come out of darkness.
|Two watercolor pencil paintings, Psalm 23 (Male Cardinal and Psalm 23 (Female Cardinal) are created using strokes that are the original Torah font letters of Psalm 23. They are separate works but also form a set of two cardinals in at the time of a winter sunset.||
Psalm 23 (Male Cardinal
They were the first paintings after the tsunami, when coincidentally my area was engulfed by a blizzard.
|The wild animals of the tsunami almost all “knew” to head for high ground just as the wild creatures in my area, where forage is otherwise generally plentiful managed to find food and shelter when a blizzard simultaneously hit my area and the snow was a foot and a half deep.Thus these bird paintings began my painting series entitled, Written on the Wind.|
Like the sheep in Psalm 23, the cardinals outside my window somehow managed to find food and shelter, after also somehow remaining safe during the blizzard. As I listened to the tsunami reports and watched the birds outside my window, it was clear that they “saw” and followed the prodding of some divine staff and rod that despite dire circumstances kept them safe.
According to the Psalmist, even in deepest darkness the Lord is with us. I paint using the Hebrew letters from original Bible texts to represent the smallest essential pre-particles (also known as strings and membranes). This is basic Judeo-Christian theology applied to fine art.
As we learn to actually see more, what is called Awakened Vision, we become more aware of the energy, which for many are (or symbolize) the words of The Divine. If we can remember and even picture the very Words of the Lord surrounding when we are in a time of a dark valley, then we can know that we are loved and not alone.
In the darkest times we can “see” our next step if we can envision that we are surrounded by the very words and promises of the Lord. All we need to do is ask for and take one small step forward with The Divine and we will “fear no evil for thou art with me.”
People who have *Awakened Vision can see this and gain that comfort, hope and peace.
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See all of Judy Rey Wasserman’s Prints at her estore. Invest in fine art that will inspire you, your friends and family. Change how you see the world to change your life. See more. Share the vision.
And, you can also find these artworks at Judy Rey’s Zazzle store on cards and mugs and other merchandise for you and your loved ones. Judy Rey’s Unique Zazzle Products for You
*Note: to discover more about Awakened Vision and how you can easily gain it sign up for the free 50+ page color ebook in the purple rectangle at the blogs at either ungravenimage.com or artofseeingthedivine.com]
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]