Infinite Beauty was inspired by an old black and white gem that my father snapped circa World War II. It’s a photo of my Aunt Thelma—newly pregnant—serenely napping in a hammock on the family farm.
The photo captures her essence. A simple woman with a beautiful spirit. A woman who burned her bra decades before it was popular—a feminist who probably never heard the term. Her no-nonsense approach to life was magnetic.
I started Infinite Beauty a few months ago and the art flowed easily. Creating it was a delicious experience. And then I was stuck. The image was complete but begged for poetry. And that was nearly 6 weeks ago. Night after night I poured over poetry to find just the right words to express what this artwork—and this woman—inspired in me. I kept coming up blank. Hundreds of poems later and nothing I read belonged on the canvas.
About a week ago, I stumbled upon a poem by Rumi and I found it reverberating in my head:
“The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.”
So for several days, I thought I had found the poem to include with Infinite Beauty…And yet it didn’t fit. Why was I so enamored with this poem that didn’t fit my art. I read and re-read the poem. I sat with it. Quietly. And it became clear…the poem was a message to me. The poem I sought was to come from within. “The inspiration is already within you.” And so as Rumi said, I was silent & listened. And this is what came out of me:
“In every quiet moment, the universe is yours. Be present. Be open.”
The words fit the art and Aunt Thelma. The potential for infinite beauty in the birth of her first child. The potential for infinite beauty in the choices you have before you every day. If you quiet your mind, if you are mindful, if you are open, you have the potential for every thing the universe can offer—there are no limits beyond those that you impose on yourself.
And the beauty of this process for me is that I that went beyond using someone else’s words to express my art. I found another octave in my vocal range. A new voice. And inspiration from a poet who lived some 800 years ago and from my aunt who passed away decades ago—but both so alive—so able to share their Infinite Beauty.
So in sharing this art with you—I wish for you to be inspired to find new beauty—new potential—a new voice or just a new way to see something…in quieting old voices, a chance for new ones to join the conversation. For finding the inspiration within. Connecting with an old muse. Or beginning a new legacy.