Our dogwood tree has already set its fists for next spring’s blossoms. I don’t want to believe that autumn is so near. But I try to convince myself of the truth with a painting.
I wanted to copy the beautiful tree in the center of this folio page, which was painted in Herat in the early sixteenth century.
I want to fold this into a book, and imagine time itself folded into peace, like this classic scene of a beloved’s glimpse. The water where Shirin bathes is dark and almost black now, only because the silver used by the artist has tarnished with time. Can you see the beauty, now that you know that?
Maybe I only look at the news cursorily, but I feel drawn to look deeply to the contexts and to wisdom preserved in artist traditions. How else grow compassion rather than hopelessness?
How will anything help me finish the painting, I wonder. Will I write a poem instead? Will you, too?