It comes unexpectedly. You sit there peacefully doing your work, focused and mildly bored, and suddenly an idea flares up like a disturbance in the force. The idea is so tantalizing that it draws your whole focus onto itself. It consumes you. The idea may be trite: a vision for decorating your room, a painting or collage, a poem, or just a neat thought that you can’t help but develop as it lures you inside your own imagination.

A moment of clarity.

In such a moment today I am inclined to study pencil drawings of trees, to get inspiration for my own tree collage. Googling “trees”, I come upon a mesmerizing photograph of a juicy green grove. The tones are almost unnaturally bright, with many trunks rhythmically pulsating between the glowing neon foliage. A small ochre-brown road stretches from downstage into the horizon. I feel as if, in some strange way, I have seen this image before. Light green, darkening towards the edges, framed by black, with a dark and light brown cut in the center.

I squint just so and yes. Here it is: a halved avocado.

<editorial comment>…Literary critics were hard on Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, saying he was a moralizer. In fact, it was Dostoyevsky who broke with the tradition of explicitly explaining what was right and wrong; of spelling out the moral of the story. He was the trailblazer who forged the way for Russian literature towards modernity. I would do well to follow suit. And stop here. However, showing not telling takes inordinate discipline. Instead, I will indulge myself, and hope for a gracious audience. Don’t judge me. </editorial comment>

One should not be surprised – each artist has his own preferred media, and certain motifs run through all of his work. If you study them carefully, you will see into his heart. Look at the world around you: a water snake curves and glides through the water. Zoom out a thousand times, and the water where the snake swims itself forms a brown, slippery form gliding in that exact path toward the sea. Take a cross-sectional image of the Himalayan mountain range, observe the troughs and peaks – do they not mirror the cardiogram of the heart beating loud in the man standing victorious atop Mt.Everest, breathing deeply the whole earth beneath him? And what a happenstance that the convulsions of a rhopalocera worm, before it morphs into a butterfly, trace a path not unlike the spiral of our own Milky Way.

These are the palettes; these are the motifs, the patterns, the underlying unifying themes running through all of creation. If you study them carefully, you may see the artist. You may see into His heart.

This is the forest.

...and the avocado.