Good Fortune. This piece began as a painting of a nautilus. I lived with it for awhile and then, I changed it into something else. A cat of good fortune. I remember the figurines of Chinese porcelain cats from my own childhood. Perhaps I’d seen them in magazines or in my Irish/German grandmother’s house in Bernal Heights in San Francisco. Maybe I had seen them in the little trinket shops in Chinatown. Regardless, I could use a stroke of good luck. So I painted this cat to symbolize good fortune.
We do that, don’t we, imbue an object d’ art with symbolism. I recently realized my tendency towards mixed media. While I paint mostly with acrylics, I like dimension, texture and sometimes a 3D effect. As if the subject is coming off the canvas a bit and announcing its presence. I have some of my mother’s costume jewelry…two pieces were perfect for the eyes.
Lucky times. Luck of the draw.
Reminding me of this Taoist story of the father and son…
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
Do we make our own Good Fortune, I wonder? Is it unrealistic to consider that we are going to always experience only good fortune? Is every event and circumstance intended for our growth? Is any experience, whether perceived as good or bad, only for our evolution? “Maybe?”