"Evolving Tenderness" 
Acrylic on canvas
Featuring Adele- "Send My Love" lyrics, sang by the mice as they work toward revealing the heart to help it become tender by casting away the muck and iron encasing it. In the history of my work, I've used these mice largely in how some native american and norse understand them as pathfinders. The Buddhist and Hindu use them as courage, and when my life has that for myself and in my practice they appear in my work. 
The character himself is me studying the way the main character for "Wisdom..." will turn out as well as finding the rest of him in myself with the help of some direction from someone dear​ toward the teachings of Tara Brach. This helped me to rexamine my relationship with my defenses and rituals as well as with my faith and begin disassembling the armors I had built against this connection and the world, represented by the bundlings of red ribbon piling on his wrist and blade from the act of seppuku. This character, who has been evolving in each of these iterations and compositions over the years, is my totem or action to focus toward for making the deliberate decision to end something, to move on, to allow space for the new, to no longer be dictated or directed by the origin . To examine and improve instead of assess and assume. This character is the belief that I am more than I was or came from. This character will be the culmination of what that "more" is and can still grow into from the rest of the series and my work in general. He is the main character of the end of a 12 year narrative and the primary focus of my energy for almost 20 of my 31 years alive.
The excerpt used in the background is from a writing that really help to kick start the real work toward completion of this last chapter. Before hearing it and using it as a mantra in a fragile and tender state of growth, I was unable to confidently move forward with the progress of this ending. "What was I if not this conflict?" I asked myself to a point of paralysis. But this writing showed me that inquiry was actually the good news.
"My beloved child, break your heart no longer. each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart.You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality. The time has come. Your time, to celebrate, and see the goodness that you are. You, my child, are divine. You are pure. You are sublimely free. Let no idea or ideal obstruct you. If one comes, even in the name of "truth", forgive it for it's unknowing. Do not fight, let go. Let go and breathe into the goodness that you are."
-Swami Kripalvanandaji (Bapuji)
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