The Heart of the Matter

A lovely older woman who read the recent newspaper article on my work called me this past week to commission a piece as a birthday gift for her daughter-in-law. The piece is also a housewarming gift: after many challenges, the daughter-in-law and her family are about to move into a new home.

Before creating the piece, I talked with my client about her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild and what the new house represents for them. The piece ended up as a blessing in the form of a haiku, conveying a wish for healing from some serious health challenges and financial stresses for both parents. It also conveys the hope that, once they are supported by their new home, the whole family will be able to expand into new possibilities, to fly into the wide sky. In the image, the three cranes represent a form of blessing, as well as each member of the family, the child bringing up the rear. Simple brushstrokes suggest the open meadow and big sky of their new home. My client loved the piece, and I am hoping it will resonate with her family and bring them blessings in their new home and their new life.

When I was younger, I thought I would like to become a therapist, to help people clarify their issues and work toward healing. But I soon realized that, while I admire those who do this work, I don’t have the constitution to handle that much suffering and dysfunction on a daily basis.

However, this new medium I’ve created, creating custom haiku and art for life passages, turns out to be deeply satisfying. Trying to understand the essence of a situation or relationship, and capturing it in a few words and brushstrokes to help someone on their life path: it gets to the heart of the matter, in every sense of the phrase. A friend today called my work “spiritual acupuncture.”

It occurred to me that this particular piece could be of value to other people as well, to hang in their own home or to give as a housewarming gift. So with my client’s enthusiastic agreement, I am offering prints of this piece. This is a limited edition of 50 digital archival prints, sized so they can be matted and framed at 8” x 10”, for $25 plus tax. Each is individually numbered and signed by the artist. Please contact me if you are interested in buying a print.

Personally, I am planning to hang one in our own home. Because no matter what our situation, we all need to feel that our home supports and blesses us as we go out to do our work in the world.