Falling is loosely inspired by the story of Icarus, the Greek myth about a young man who flew too close to the sun. The interpretations I have read about this myth say that it is a cautionary tale about aspiring for too much, hubris. But I see the story as a reminder to live life to its fullest. Icarus was experiencing the ecstatic joy of life when he was tumbled by fate.
I painted Falling after receiving a diagnosis of stage 3B abdominal cancer. The unexpected news of my physical frailty and potentially imminent mortality gave me a sense of the floor coming out from under my feet, sending me tumbling through a reality I once thought of as solid.
Icarus is a young person with expectations that everything will work out for him the way he thinks it will. All of us at one time in our lives thought of ourselves as immortal, and took for granted, or ignored, the many lessons and gifts we were given to help us along our way. We expect the future to work out as we plan, and lose sight of the fact that all we really have is right now. Tomorrow could bring a collapse into the ocean. Falling is a reminder to live in the present and savor the time we have.
*Post Script: I survived my diagnosis and am, for now, cancer free. Icarus rises again. 🦋
18″ x 24″ oil on cradled birch. Available in my studio. Contact me for details.
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