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Jan 03, 2019
Today, I share with you the legend that inspired my painting, "Once I Meta Swan" (pictured above).
The story I'm about to share with you is based on a true tale, lived by the man who commissioned this visionary painting. The incredible experiences he had all took place in a series of lucid dreams, which are nothing short of waking reality in my opinion. I highly recommend you find a comfy spot to sit for just a few short minutes and read what I've written like you would a novel. Read it slowly, savor the words and sentiment, and let it take you on a journey into myth behind the art.
Once upon a time of forgotten hidden love, a man found himself beholden to a world of too many jewels and wearisome decorum. While he was surrounded by people and things of respectable perfection, the ways of this world left him longing, with ever increasing frequency, for something more... something that only a faint pain in his heart could describe with words from some ancient yet familiar language.
One evening, he managed to leave it all behind...
It happened when he found himself engulfed, yet again, by a sea of steely strangers at some grand and palatial but droll festivity. Following his usual futile attempts to catch a spark of relatability from someone, anyone, he found himself exploring the quiet periphery of the gathering, by which he discovered a rather curious, lavishly decorated, crystal door that did not seem to be intended for use that evening, or ever. Intrigued, he tried the latch, it opened, and he slipped away from the crowd unnoticed.
Once outside, his eyes and ears immediately drank deeply of the silvery stillness around him. The damp cool air pressed upon his lips, and then danced around in crisp little tufts with each exhale. He watched as the tiny water crystals dissolved upward; and presently, as his focus shifted to what lay beyond, he turned utterly wonderstruck by a most glorious sight. Seated just before him, bathed by the all-embracing light of the moon, was the most stunning and majestic mountain face he had ever seen. Ah... nature's most venerable ruler. How it radiated such peace, such loveliness. Its shining crest illumined his heart and seemed to beckon him come closer with an indescribable magnetism. He looked back, momentarily, to the festivities in the great room, the empty laughter and clinks of champagne glasses hanging on the evening breeze...then he turned once more toward the strange marvel before him.
No matter how crazy it seemed, he decided he would climb it forthwith.
After a long and arduous journey that pulled and stretched every hour into what felt like an endless night, he reached the summit of the mysterious rocky mass. And just as he laid his gaze upon the sweeping moonlit valleys, he was suddenly and magically propelled into a vast and brilliant otherworld, filled with colors he didn't even know existed, and glittering with great plumed creatures of such magnificence and beauty that with just one glance, he would become the grace and calm of a thousand lakes.
Enraptured, he transformed into one of these majestic birds, and dwelled there for eternity...
However, as destiny would have it, he did not remain there for all time, as he could have so easily done.
One day, as his great wings carried him swiftly through the infinite and colorful skies, a tiny speck in the distance caught the corner of his eye. He looked over, narrowed his sights, and, as if he were looking through a telescope that could somehow bring the most rich detail to any shape no matter how far, his gaze landed upon Earth, way out in the far distant reaches of space.
At once, a tidal wave of memories from his former life came flooding over him, the joy, the grief, all the the bittersweet beauty of being human—the things he hadn't understood, couldn't quite grasp as he had lived them, the perspectives that may have brought him some peace, if only he knew how to find them. He felt immense love for the man he once was, such sudden depth of understanding of his heart's longings, the all-encompassing ever-changing full spectrum of existence itself. In an instant which was future past and present all at once, the man he was accepted it all, every stop and go, every hurt and every point of shame or confusion, every judgement, every consuming despair, every feeling of lack or pain, all his searching for a nameless love everywhere outside him. He saw his short and precious life—all human life—the fragility and strength, for all that it was and wasn't in all its brilliance, and recognized the beauty of every moment, each a living breathing miracle, in the utmost pure perfection that it was—the true jumping off point for all of creation.
It was true, he had forgot everything of that world—that life—until this very moment, as if the memory of it had been completely erased at the precise moment of his transition to the winged existence he now lived. His remembrance did not end at his own absolution of his past, however; it presented another doorway, an invitation to become something even greater: to serve those who suffered, and help them discover their true nature. Imagine if all the prayers of all peoples of all time concentrated themselves into one place, like a multitudinous array of tiny minerals pressed over thousands of years into one exquisite crystalline form, this was now he, in the shape of a soul who could hear all the cries of the earth, and tend to them.
Much like the call of the mountain had compelled him to climb, the Earth now encouraged his return, and that's exactly what he did. Only this time, he went forth with infinite clarity, compassion, and understanding. He would carry the wisdom from this realm back to Earth, to bring heaven to the land.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Thank you for embarking on this journey with me, I hope you enjoyed it. The story of this painting keeps revealing itself to me in layers, like an unearthly rose that takes a lifetime to bloom. It is one of my favorite stories of a painting to share, and it has expressed itself in song, poetry, and prose of many shapes, as do many of my paintings.
If the imagery, story and teachings of the swan speak to you, I invite you to take it home. Adorn your walls with its beauty so that you are inspired by its teachings on a daily basis.
This sacred work is available as a fine art print on canvas, paper, metal, wood, and more, all with beautiful custom framing options so you can have your own "Once I Meta Swan" delivered straight to your door, completely adorned and ready to hang. This piece is also available as a tapestry, custom journal, or sticker, too. Check out my Treasures page for more of my art inspired gifts.
If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a note, I'm happy to help!
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