My dear friend and ardent yogi Matt Champoux wrote a beautiful interpretation of the visual imagery of this piece, which was a delight for me to read. I love hearing what other people see in my work, especially when it is in line with what I was trying to convey. While I may not have been aware of the specific meaning of the imagery I chose, Matt's interpretation of this piece as a conversation on impermanence and the myriad variety of appearance is spot on.
"This piece illustrates the twin wings of the dharma practice and the inseparability of compassion and understanding the interdependence of all phenomena. The skull powerfully us of our own ephemerality, which is the common fate for all of creation - change and impermanence. The swan shows the gentleness required as we begin our journey on the spiritual path, but it is also the true nature of all awakened beings. The swan is also a coded image referring to the unspoken mantra that rides on our breath - the japa ajapa mantra - which calls out to Shiva, or pure consciousness, as the nature of our true self. The snake is a potent representation of the ferocity required to cut through our deluded perspectives of the conditioned mind. It is also symbolic of the primordial power of creation and harkens back to the imagery associated with tantric yoga and kundalini worship. It's venom represents the poisoned confusion of samsara, or the wheel of cyclic existence. The butterfly holding it all together reminds us of the great benevolence underlying the process of all yoga practices rooted in tradition and the fire of sincere inquiry."
In closing of this month, I'll leave you with this sweet little morsel of beauty and truth:
"You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret - you return to the beauty you have always been." - Aberjhani, Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black.