Times of great suffering, and times of great promise. More than ever, our survival as a species depends on our ability to honor and respect our differences, while acknowledging and embracing our interconnectedness.
My intention in bringing forth these 64 Faces of Awakening is to reflect, reclaim and celebrate the soul of the world -- a miraculous multiplicity of ONE. It is my way of illuminating the incredible uniqueness of the individual person or tribe, as well as engaging in a deep, intimate experience that transcends ‘self’ and ‘other’.
Each of these faces, along with representing both ancient and new human archetypes, embody the very kind of peace, love and understanding that I long to see in the world, and experience in myself. My inspiration comes from many places. Much of the time, the faces I draw arise out of my imagination, or through my dreams. Every once in a while I'll feel a strong pull to capture the essence of an actual person (from my own life, or historically) who has inspired, empowered and/or moved me at a very deep level. There have been a couple of times when I've seen a person walking down the street, or sitting in a cafe whose energy, face and expression I've felt compelled to bring forth in a drawing. And there have been times when others have shared their visions of a face with me, and I've integrated those visions into an image.
When drawing, I consciously enter into an intimate, meditative and intuitive space. I allow myself to drop in to a highly rhythmic, detailed process, dot by dot, line by line. Slowly, I watch the white paper and black ink intertwine and lose themselves in a staccatoed dance. Until there is no black, and no white. No ‘this’, and no ‘that’. Just a multi-faceted being emerging from the background – infused with universal symbols and emanating a presence that I can feel in my bones.
The process of creating these faces is exceedingly soothing to me. It not only allows me to work through my own grief about the wounded and conflictual state of the world, but to apply and receive my own form of medicine.
When I gaze into the eyes of these wise beings once they’re fully formed, I feel seen, cherished, and supported. While at first I might be enamored and awed by the specificity of their beauty, in the end, it doesn’t matter what their ethnicity is, or their religion, or the color of their skin. Or even their age. What matters is the possibility of transformation that their gazes inspire.
As I spend time with them, I find myself feeling increasingly relaxed, trusting, patient and forgiving in my everyday life. I feel invited to become more loving, more alive, and more real.
Ultimately, I see these drawings as soul windows, or medicinal mirrors. Each being is a keeper of wisdom, and an exquisitely unique reflection of the truth that “The face of Love & Compassion is universal” and of the potential that resides deeply within each of us.
The 64 Faces of Awakening are now available as art prints, soft pillows, cozy blankets and 'curtains' that can be used as beautiful wall hangings. Choose the Wisdom Keeper that speaks to you, and give it as a gift to yourself, or someone you love.