I make many mistakes when I paint. And it is often through these ‘errors’ the gift of seeing, or knowing, comes.
It is only after I have made a mistake that revelation of what is, or what needs to happen, becomes clear.
It is through the struggle and surrender to these mistakes, in the effort to find where I need to go, that I discover the way. A way. And it is often a painful process. Relinquishing ideas, concepts, preferences, attachments – to things all good and worthwhile in themselves, but often inconsequential for fulfillment of what the painting is choosing to reveal.
And so I have learned to paint with respect. With patience. With forbearance. And faith. Lots of it. And a growing capacity to cope with what on the outset may appear as disturbances of process but which ultimately are way-showers and forgers of distilling greater understanding and truths.
I have learned to allow myself the wrestling with ego, fear of erasing things I have worked hard to construct - only to realise they don’t after all serve a purpose, and perhaps even obstruct/obscure something I didn’t know was there but is now shiningly clear. Bit by bit I add. And add. I build. I take away. I erase. I layer and layer and then rub and rub at the canvas and worry I will accidentally wear a hole, and what will happen then?
And then at some point, the painting is complete. The initial vision that compelled the need in me to paint it, with great hope and anticipation, as if along the way a great secret would be revealed, has taken me through a journey of contemplation, frustration, disappointment, self-doubt, reconciliation, tenderness, revelation, and ultimately, forgiveness, and love.
Perhaps greatest of all, is the development of the muscle of patience and compassion – for/with both myself, and the painting, and ultimately, acceptance of the essence of unknowability and Mystery within the journey of seeking to be True. True to something ineffable.
This practice, through the act of painting, is gradually transferred/incorporated into the realm/s of my life that are not about painting. And this is where it is most needed. Especially when experiencing depths of personal challenge such as the one I am still moving through, which I have named the Wyrrds.
The word came to me a few weeks ago. The Wyrrds. This is what it has felt like. As a word. Though I didn’t know what it actually meant in correct translation/origin when the word initially came to me.
The correct spelling is wyrd.
In ancient Norse wyrd is apparently rooted in the idea of unescapable fate…. the connectedness of all things. Death and Rebirth. The Goddess of Fate…
Alongside this it can mean All time being Now, including Past and Future….and… we are All of the Wyrd.
And then again, in the Nordic Rune Oracle, it relates to “that which has not yet been fated”, change and/or even Hope….and yet another interpretation that…. things do not/are not falling into an expected pattern.
All I know is I now have my own personal experience of the word wyrd, initiated by the passing of both my parents within 11 weeks of one another.
After the following dream, dreamed 4 nights before the Launch of Zentaimprints and prior to the unfolding of my parents deaths, the painting Lion of Judah found its way onto the canvas, the slow painting of which has been a blessing of refuge and calm through this time, for which I am so grateful.
The Great Lion
Dream 14th Feb 2018
I am moving through the inside of a large ‘neutral’ building, it is semi-dark… the first space/room is square, completely ‘empty’, except at the centre of the space - in which there are two huge ‘larger than life’ utterly Resplendent White Lions, sitting motionless side by side ‘facing me’. Their manes are massive halo’s glowing with Light – White Light. An element of fear moves through me but then I realise I am singing to them, some kind of prayer or invocation, and also am kind of ‘flying’ as I sing, moving toward and then past them on the right.
I recognise we are energetically resonant/One and there is no need for fear.
Now I find myself in a room/space diagonally behind them (on the right again). This room is rectangular in shape and more ‘brightly lit’, more ‘emotionally complex’ and I notice some other people are also present ‘on the outer’.
There are two lions here, one I don’t fully see/take in – the focus is on the Great Lion (Golden, not White) in front of me, laying like a Sphinx, so that I am witness to his entire body on the side. He is huge, like a great Mythological Beast in the proportions and presence of his body.
I then see the lower part of his body, his belly, resting on the ground, has breasts/udders, almost like elephant breasts, swollen and heavy with both ‘milk’ and the weight/burdens of all that He/She carries/bears on behalf of All. I feel great grief and compassion for the dignity and forbearance of this Great Lion, this Great One who is like a Christ in Lion form, manifest on the physical and yet also on the metaphysical.
When I wake Credo Mutwa (Africa’s great Keeper of Ancient Knowledge & one who has demonstrated the most profound forbearance throughout his life) comes immediately to my mind - it is more of a physical sensation than a ‘thought’, as if this Lion is He?
Zenta Gabrielle Zebergs