From Terry Tempest Williams’ book Leap: “Hieronymus Bosch put his finger on the wound. What is the wound? Our wound, separation from the Sacred, the pain of our isolation, may this be the open door that leads us to the table of restoration, may we sit around the table, may we break bread around the table, may we stand on top of the table, may we turn the the table over and dance, leap, leap for joy, all this in the gesture of conserving a painting, conserving a landscape, conserving a spirit, our own restored spirits once lost, now found, Paradise found, right here, on this beautiful blue planet called Earth.”
Leap is one of my favorite books by Williams. It is her personal journey through the landscape of this painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, by the 15th c painter Hieronymus Bosch. There has been much speculation about this painting since that time which she explores throughout the book. However, being a naturalist and passionate advocate for the Earth, Williams’ interpretation is a tour de force that brings together faith, art, and history to awaken our senses to the beauty, to the sensuous world around us…that is present right here, right now. If you have read any of this blog you’ll know that this is also the heart of my life and work as an artist. Art in service to the Sacred, the healing of the earth. I have been so inspired by Bosch’s painting and Williams account of it, that I have been at work on my own version of “The Garden” in the form of a mandala at the center and two outer panels. It has been slow going as I listen to the call of the muses and the creatures who are asking to be included in this piece but I’ve had a breakthrough in the last couple of days and look forward to sharing what emerges.