In Egyptian mythology the phoenix is a magnificent bird with a spectacular tail of crimson and gold. At the end of its 500-year life it builds a nest of cinnamon twigs, which it ignites. The nest and the phoenix are consumed by flames, but then a new young phoenix arises from the ashes; a marvelous symbol of renewal and rebirth.
Again and again there is potential for a cosmic do-over. No matter what has gone before there is always the option to start again. Not from scratch, but with experience.
My Phoenix is very personal for me. I started it during my mother’s final illness. At the same time my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the second of my brothers to do so. In the hours I worked on the phoenix I thought a lot about the circle of life, and countless tears are mixed with the paint.
My beautiful grandson, Joe, was born within days of my mom and my brother passing away. There is a line in a Blood, Sweat and Tears song that goes:
“…And when I die, and when I’m gone
There’ll be one child born
In this world
To carry on to carry on”
That’s my Joe.