An Evolving Life. Angel or Demon?
Angel or Demon?
Like clothes, cars, and hairdos, words also go in and out of style. For instance, I recall a time when "egregious" was hot. Every politician in trouble was egregious (outstandingly bad, shocking, appalling). Strange how we rarely hear it these days. Demons seem to be accepted on the front page, even celebrated because without them, there would be no shock, no awe, alas, not much news at all.
So I'm rather tickled that a very different kind of word has come into vogue: Authentic. I'm particularly attuned to its three syllables because those whom I meet or who are just getting to know me often cock their head and say: Wow, you're sooooo authentic. It’s as if I'm a rare bird on the endangered list, one they've read about in Audubon or seen on Wild Kingdom, but never witnessed up front and personal.
Sometimes it sounds like a compliment, but sometimes not. While authenticity seems to be what many are striving for on their yoga mats or when they tune into The Moth, in reality it can be a scary proposition. One has to "peel the onion," shed each layer of clothing, then some skin, stand naked for all to see. One has to be vulnerable.
For those ready and longing to do so, meeting such a creature can be inspiring, validating. At the right time, it feels like you’ve been touched my an angel, that the universe is sending you a signal to proceed, that all is safe and clear
The opposite reaction, however, can also occur. For some, it can be frightening, even threatening to be confronted by or just to glimpse such a being from afar. For those in denial or not prepared to examine what's hidden underneath—the wrinkles of worry, the sag of sadness, perhaps a paunch of guilt and worst of all, some dark wiry hair of shame—that angel may appear as a demon with x-ray vision, uncovering emotional truths not ready to be seen or heard.
That said, for those ready and willing to give as well as receive, authenticity can deliver hope to the hopeless, love to the loveless and light from the darkness. So if you’re seeking a better life, one that will continue to evolve, it may be interesting to consider how authenticity appears to you? Angel or Demon?
Please click on the images below to enlarge.
I have had the good fortune of knowing Meryl Spiegel for many years. We met during my BNB days when she was referred to me as a resource for a specific type of photography I was searching for. I also knew her as a writer. Over the years, I have been impressed with Meryl’s talent and creativity, and the honesty of her work. When Meryl began to sketch, paint, work with pastels, she truly overlaid one talent on top of another. The layers were intriguing. I reached out to Meryl recently because I thought that the Hummingbird audience would appreciate her work, and value her process. They say that timing is everything, and in this case it was, because Meryl was thinking about not only “showing” her work, but writing about it too. In our new series, An Evolving Life, Meryl will share the stages, challenges, and meaning of her art, and the journey that coincides with the pieces she highlights. Sandra Novick
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