My piece was inspired greatly by how quarantine is affecting me mentally, and is less about how I feel about the world right now. I have never experienced this much isolation in my life, even during summer break. I have been alone with myself for months, and this has been both a beautiful and scary experience to learn about myself. I have always been a spiritual seeker, but during SIP, my desire for spiritual knowledge has increased a lot more. I could not focus on this part of my life due to school life, but now, I am forced to focus on myself and the unsolved personality issues that I have, such as hypochondriasis, overthinking, worrying too much. This is represented by the gray figure, whose color conveys chaos, dullness, and fear during this time of facing my unsolved flaws. The closed eyes show that I am very absorbed in my own inner development. The faint yellow outline on the figure’s face represents the energetic state my mind is in, trying to settle many mental and emotional issues. The main figure wearing red is Kali, a fierce yet compassionate being that destroys the ego and ignorance of humaity, allowing them to reach enlightenment. I learned that a spiritual awakening happens when one is ready for it, but even they may not think they are ready yet because it is very overwhelming. This is represented by how Kali seems like she is bursting out of the gray figure, even though the figure might not be aware of what is happening to them mentally. For many years, during the beginning of this journey, I was very confused, and I started to disengage with life and remain isolated from people. Instead, I engaged a lot more with my spiritual journey. Nowadays I am not as isolated as I was a few years back, but even now, I rarely participate in any conversation with someone unless it is about spiritual topics. The closed lips and eyes represent this intense period of self-isolation. I started seeing how so many people follow the same cyclical pattern as the people before them. This cycle keeps on repreating itself over and over again for generations. Get an education, make friends, make a living, start a family, have fun and travel, then retire and die. But we are not here just to take up space, we must be here for some greater purpose. A lot of people live according to advice and directions that come from places like school, the media, the government, parents, etc. Following this self-repreating cycle of life is getting us nowhere, and this fast-paced, capitalistic society gives us no time to grow spiritually because we are so worried about achieving the goals that society makes us think are the most important goals for life. Viewing life using a big-picture lens has made me uninterested in the life that I used to lead. This is represented by the gray figure, which is turned away from the black void (mundane, cyclical way of life) and is turned towards the figure of Kali (enlightenment, awakening). The gray figure is hugging Kali to represent the strong desire I have to grow spiritually. The gold jewelry represents enlightenment, and the gray figure grasping onto the red dress symbolizes the intense journey to the biggest goal in my life. The hoop nosering that Kali is wearing represents the cyclical way of life that can be controlled by going through an awakening and becoming enlightened. The hibiscus flowers represent Maya, a word which refers to the delusion of life in which we live in. Hibiscus, when made into a dye, turns a rich blue color. This represents spiritual journey very well, because the red exterior of the hibiscus flower represents how a lot of the humanity is bound by emotions and urges, such as greed, fear, laziness, anxiety, etc. These traits can be tied to the color red. The flower dye turning from red to blue represents the shedding of these limiting and unsettling emotions and the attaining of higher consciousness. Blue is associated with clarity, vastness, and calmness.
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