Unfolding

Irisinoil

Iris in watercolor, ink, Adobe illustrator

Hi dear friends,

It’s been a while. A long while.

{{  As all the flowers fold back up, shrink, turn brown, and die, I’m unfolding. One fragile petal at a time, I’m disclosing weakness, exposing strength, and discovering deftly-folded beauty that goes down deep.  }}

It’s been a bit of a rough ride since I was last active here. We moved, I fell ill for months with a mysterious illness that kept me in bed (or at the hospital) a lot, and I was parenting a two year old on the side. No big deal. In the midst of trials, though, I found myself clinging harder than ever – clinging to my family, my friends, my God. As I was praying one morning, asking Father, “How much longer can I go on like this?”, he reassured me with a beautiful picture. Behind my closed eyes, I saw an orange. A juicy, bright, beautiful globe. A sharp knife sliced through the orange, ripping its flesh apart. Fingers peeled the skin, leaving the fruit naked. A juicer pulverized the lovely flesh with violence.

{{  But the end result was this: live-giving, soul-lifting, taste-bud tingling, vitamin rich orange juice. Cold, sweet, thirst-quenching life.  }}

“Your suffering is worth something. I’m letting you be broken down so that you can be filled with life.” His promises were the sweetest medicine I’ve taken in years. Though I don’t know why I got sick in the first place, or even if the illness will return, I know that I’m seen, I’m heard, and I’m treasured. Loss of hope is the most detrimental thing that can blight your soul. But I have hope. I’m being watered with goodness, and I’m basking in the warm sunshine of promise. Each unfurling petal brings a new self-realization. The change has gone down deep.

In my months away, I’ve been actively creating. I’ve churned out a whole series of flowers. As my lady, Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way… things I had no words for”. I hope that you can see in my work the marks of a soul that is soaking up beauty like the roots can’t go deep enough.

I’ll leave you with a raised coffee mug and a toast (because we do that in my house) :

Here’s to going deeper, to being known, and to unfolding.

Cheers.

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