My friend and colleague Raven are working hard on preparing a book about wilderness pilgrimage. We dream of making a living creating art and writing about Nature. I am sharing this single piece of art here to try to find people out there who are interested in our story and are willing to read a book about it. If we work hard and smart we will be able to make a living doing this. Raven’s art collection is on Etsy for sale. By writing about our journey’s in nature, we hope to elevate this art to a place where we can make a living in the creation and publication of our work. We are hungry to share our stories and love to help people with the hope that comes from learning to live by Spirit. Listening to nature and others, but living an authentic life of integrity and harmony with creation. We created the art above as an expression of how our old selves, the lion, have died and are being reborn in the form on Spirit. The phoenix represents a new life in Spirit. Once a rigid stone lion, aggressive and proud, in my old life in the educational system and in civil service my spirit is slowly being reborn into a fluid, graceful firebird. The beautiful drawing of Raven was created by her reading my poem the Descent of Man and our conversations about the poem. I took pictures of the lion on Oakland Cemetery that is part of the Unknown Confederate Dead memorial. Together, we came up with the idea of the phoenix. The phoenix is the symbol of Atlanta. So, the entire drawing really means a lot to me having grown up in Atlanta. In mythology, the phoenix typically arises out of its own ashes. By drawing the phoenix coming out of the lion, Raven brings an entirely new idea to the ancient archetype phoenix. The beauty of fire and stone are individually important to be. For the past six years, my spirit have been trapped in a rigid stone cage of mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. I am choosing to go off these medications in the next few months to regain my old self, regaining the fulll strength of my own inner fire. Ellie Herman and I talked yesterday for about fourty-five minutes during a coaching session and we talked about coming up with a plan for Raven and I to work together on a book about the healing power of Spirit in Nature. We talked about how to get a book proposal done to submit to publishers. She recommend for me to write a single paragraph capturing the essence of what the book will be about. We started with one sentence, “We are are on a journey with Spirit to gain insight and serenity so that true learning can take place.” She said she would send me some writing exercises. Raven and I talked last night, and agreed to try to have our respective paragraphs ready by the next time I talk to Ellie. My spirit is uplifted by people reading what I write and create in telling my story. I read a little of A Sand County Almanac yesterday. The writing in this book is extremely elegant. I would like to emulate it in my writing about my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail starting in March. The journey up the AT will be an adventure of a lifetime. It will be the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit, harmonizing my spirit with nature and a society of people who are seeking solace from the hectic nature of the industrial world. Both in my poem Descent of Man and in Raven’s drawing of phoenix and lion, the theme of creation and destruction is strong. There is one spirit in the lion and phoenix. The two are actually the same being. Cycles of birth and death are a part of all life. The lotus is born of mud, lives for a time, and returns to mud. No one is perfect, but we can strive to be the best we can be. In our work, we create expressions of our lives to share with others.
Here is a video capturing the start of an explanation of the art:
InnerLight Enlightenment by Dr. William Kaya Erbil is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.