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Loved into Magnificence

March 6th, 2009

Starwings, acrylic on canvas 48"w x 36"h, by Lexi Sundell

Starwings, 48"w x 36"h

Doesn’t everyone yearn to be loved into magnificence? Isn’t love what sustains a caterpillar as it goes through the unimaginably strange process of dissolving its bazillion legs, indeed, its very identity, into an unknown goo with the potential of one day flying?

What caterpillar ever dreamed of flying as it happily strolled along leaves, selecting the tastiest parts to bite and consume? How solidly anchored to earth do all those legs make a caterpillar anyway?

As the stirrings of change disturb the caterpillar, it retreats into a chrysalis, seeking safety and comfort. Safety it may find there, but comfort quickly flees as the stirrings of change become a full fledged assault on the caterpillar’s very being.

So how would love sustain a caterpillar through the transition from the known to the utterly unknown? The chrysalis in its shimmering colors holds the world away from the chaos within it. Seeking love from the world outside the chrysalis is not really an option.

As always, love first arises from within the self. Love directs the myriad processes of transformation, creating amazing and unanticipated beauty from humble beginnings. So it is for the caterpillar, as it becomes something it never even dreamed for its future.

Eventually the goo has morphed into a new form, still unable to fly. The new being is folded, crumpled, and crammed into the tight confines of the chrysalis. Eventually the claustrophobia is too much and this new being breaks out of the coffin of the caterpillar.

The miracle of transformation continues as the wings slowly unfold like a flower gently opening in the dawn light. Liquid pumps through the veins of the wings until they stand straight and graceful, needing only time to dry before the maiden voyage.

The wings of a butterfly sparkle with the memory of stars. After all, the matter of our familiar and beloved earth is the leftover remains of stars long gone by. So the butterfly sits, drying, the remnants of stars coursing through its veins and forming its being.

When ready, the butterfly opens its wings like a heart in surrender to divine love. At last, in holy ascent, the butterfly takes flight, delicate, fragile, and somehow timelessly enduring. So may we all.

Lexi Sundell’s painting Starwings and limited edition prints are available at RiverStone Gallery.

Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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6 Responses to “Loved into Magnificence”

  • These are truly amazing and magnificent paintings which i look forward to seeing in person on my annual trek to Ennis, MT. Thank you for sharing this. As you described the transformation of the butterfly, i could see my own transformation through her eyes. Ah, just breathe.

  • Looking forward to seeing you here again, Carolyn! Yes, transformation can be quite breathtaking…

  • Wonderful images and words. The Sufis, especially Rumi, talked about the union with the Beloved, a state of the awakened heart. Never thought of the butterfly as a heart shape!

  • Thanks, Gia. Yes, Rumi has some wonderful ways of describing the awakened heart!

  • Lexi,
    This is such a complete description of transformation: the eloquent words dance around and through the beautiful painting, combining to share the wholeness and oneness of the thought. Magnificent! Thank you for sharing your talents!

  • Dawn,
    Thank you very much, I hope to see you again here.

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