Saturday, July 7, 2012


Sunyata (Emptiness), oil on canvas, 48x48 inches, © 2012 Diane McGregor

Rain Light by W.S. Merwin

All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning

My Mother passed away a few months ago. Since then there has been a huge void in my life. Mom had been ill, but not in any immediate danger, so her passing was sudden and shocking. This is my first experience of losing someone so close to me. The concepts of life, death, and afterlife are forward in my mind.

This painting helped me cope. The daily labor of completing each white rectangle, over and over, like a chant to the Infinite, gave me structure and purpose as I waded through the grief and loss. It's my most minimal piece yet.  The underpainting was lively violet, green, brown, and dark gray -- all that is left now is the white, with a hint of violet showing through in the lines that form the grid. Like snow, the purity of white symbolizes the intermediary between the spirit world and the human reality. White is silent and gentle, like snow falling; like arcane knowledge being transmitted through the ether, divine energy flows to us from a higher spiritual plane.


SChristie said...

I slept with the lights and sound for five years after my dad died. He was my person. Each year on that day I went out to the. Santuario at Chimayo and lit a candle and sat. The fifth year I felt better. There is a Buddhist must do "something" until it is all burned up. I believe grief is that. I knew that I could not put it aside or I could not go on unless I did it fully. It is quite a solitary thing. Sending love, SChristie

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you, Susan. Blessings, Diane xo

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

Art does indeed heal and nurture our spirit, takes us to a higher realm, brings peace and solace.
The painting is beautifully rendered and your post eloquently written, Diane.

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you, Stephanie. This painting is very subtle, mostly white, and very difficult to photograph. I know you can relate.