7. Honoring the Goddess

Honoring the Goddess

Honoring the Goddess, oil pastels on canvas, 2008

This image came from a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, 1993, on the first few weeks of what eventually evolved into a three-year journey around the world.  I was hiking along a back-country road in Provence, between the villages of Apt and Bonneaux.  Earlier that morning, I met a French woman busy harvesting thousands of black burgundy cherries.  She insists that I take some, and I fill my straw hat well-past overflowing with ripe, sensuous cherries.  Although we’d met for only a moment, the encounter’s symbolism still resonates – that the Goddess of the Harvest incarnate had introduced herself to me on the morning of The Mid Summer’s Day.

After a memorable meal (more sensual delights), I walked across a meadow where wild oregano grew underfoot.  Every step became a delight to the nose.

Then across the meadow to this field of lavender.  The earth of the field was dry and rocky, yet such a fragrance from these plants!  Like the cherries and all the other sensory delights, this too was a gift from the goddess.  It was as if she was imprinting into my consciousness that she had uncountable gifts to give me, each one a sensual treasure.

Being led to this this field of lavender was the sensory straw that broke my camel-like resistance to the Goddess. “I surrender. I am your servant”  I knelt before her, deeply inhaled, and vowed to accept and give all that She would ever require of me.

The contrast between masculine and feminine in this piece is intentional.  I exaggerate the arm size to convey masculine strength (all superfluous for the purpose of caressing lavender.)  I render the lavender bush in long strokes alternating between shadow and light, giving it a human presence — willowy legs, perfumed nipples rising from the dark shadows of the Earth.

This is surrender not in the sense of quitting, but as one surrenders to a calling or a higher power.

~ by Delfino on 2008/12/18.

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