Sometimes hope gets eaten alive.
It was the morning after Russia had invaded Ukraine. I sat reading the news with an ever heavier heart. This couldn’t be happening! War doesn’t belong in our time. War is something of far-away places and of history. We only got to see the scars, we were only taught the horror of the past. And then all of a sudden this blood thirsty madness was happening right in front of my eyes. Live. Behind a border less than 1400 kilometers away from my home. It wasn’t that I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, the upcoming suffering and destruction, the fact that somebody feels entitled to do that to people. The fact that this war was maybe a threat to all of us.
All of a sudden the dark storm in my mind was disturbed by clear and heart-felt laughter. In the chestnut tree that I can see from my studio window, was the green woodpecker. Back in her old spot for the first time since this winter, laughing out loud. It seemed inappropriate, this cheerful melody in such a dark and scary moment. And yet, she laughed even louder. And I felt the pang of contradiction and struggle inside. How could I enjoy my little friend’s return and laughter when such horror was unfolding? And then she turned her head into my direction and she laughed once again, louder and longer, as if she was telling me something before she flew off in her gliding waves.
It was almost as if with her laughter she wanted to reassure me that no matter what happens in the world, Life itself always goes on in some form or other. And that thought conjured up a little spark in my darkness. Hope.
Of course it’s always our own minds imagining these ‘messages’, but what better source to get hope from than Spring Life itself?
A painting video
With reverence to Life and my dear woodpecker friend, I painted six woodpecker illustrations depicting relationships. So there are three more than you can see in this post. I filmed the process of painting the first, “a Family” and in the video you can see the other three paintings. All six original illustrations are available in my Etsy shop, which you can find here. Should you be interested, my Patrons and newsletter readers get a discount on my art originals… 😉
NB: the video will be live
How to go from here
I hope that the atrocities in Ukraine and Russia (Russian people aren’t safe to think what they do and the fate of many who oppose this war is already unknown) will end soon and that respect for Life will be restored. Until then, we must try to keep our own heads and hearts clear and peaceful. When such horror is going on, it may feel like a crime to experience a glowing heart, but as an act of resistance against such maddness, it may be extra important to witness Life unfolding in Spring and to enjoy the promise that lies in the unbudding of it. And, heavy heart, or not, let’s try to bring all the color into Life that we can, in whatever way we can. These woodpeckers are mine♥