The Persistence of Flowers (Notes on Awakening)


Showing this work in progress is no simple matter. All manner of consideration looms up at me and yet underlying, there is a simplicity that I want to cultivate and grow before I no longer have this body. The simplicity of a child who likes something and wants to share it. But truth be known, this enters the realm of the complex because for me there never was a simple time.

As an infant, throughout my childhood and adolescence, I underwent experimentation that one might associate with Nazism. Strange but, if memory serves, true – those who were responsible for overseeing the kind of experimentation and unimaginable abuse experienced were Nazi scientists who continued their experiments after WWII right here, in Amerika. As far as I’m concerned this country has never been the land of the free.

True freedom is a state of being that is sourced within, not without. It certainly helps to have the right conditions for the cultivation of freedom, and what this country purports to be would seem to fit the bill. But if you look at what we collectively have done with our “freedom” it raises questions. We are enslaved to habits of living that perpetuate hypnosis – from football to Good Morning America. Society has unconsciously trained us how to feel, what to wear, how to heal (drugs and retail therapy), what to want, what to eat, how to react, what to do – ideas of right living that support mass consumerism and the resulting imbalances that have made for the turbulence we now face. We have been taught that the pursuit of happiness means going after more things of hypnosis, a hypnosis that by its very nature is designed to enslave us miserably.

It is now, in the wake of long held back memory, memory that was blacked out intentionally under the effects of drugs, hypnosis, shock and threat training, and as a means of survival, that simplicity becomes a genuine possibility for me. That said, let me make something clear. While memory awakened reveals a thoroughly destroyed childhood and an apparent absence of human compassion, it simultaneously exposes an equally profound presence of “something” benevolent that held me throughout. Whatever this agency of benevolence, it remains present with me now, in my awakening. And it demands of me activity of freedom, presenting in full blown three and sometimes four dimensional simulation the absurdity of what I have come to accept as real about myself and my world out of sleep. Whatever this agency is, it is not without humor. In fact humor is a hallmark. Brilliant sight gags and puns with psychic guns mercilessly destroy any internal drama bubbles formed around the secret I didn’t know I was keeping.

The story of what happened is not the point. I speak it to free it. And hopefully to awaken you just a little bit. It ain’t no big thang. Certainly not in the eyes of those agents of benevolence of which I speak. Soft, pink, and fluffy does not describe this kind of – love – for lack of a better word – that will do everything in its vast capability to see to it that I do not get attached to any form of its expression. Or my own expression, for that matter.

But I digress. For the moment, being and speaking as a work in progress is the thing I am exploring. A work in progress is in one sense, without fixed identity. And what is it to be free but to be selfless? Not bound to or by identity. The benevolent force needs the absence of identity in order to have the space to come through. It is BIG, too big for identity. At least to my experience. My history creates quite a compelling story, and even speaks to the strength of spirit – a great human interest piece. But it limits me to an identity that bears the weight of that history. The idea, from what my benevolent friends seem to be communicating, is to let go completely of anything that binds me to identity and yet maintain an ability to function. You gotta see what you are holding onto first. Simple, not easy. I confess I never knew how much I secretly thought enlightenment was like a plush toy until awakening got this vacuously real.

Tomorrow, if there is such a thing, I may look at this series of moments spent here processing words and wonder how I might have come to think this was a good idea. It will be obvious I have let go completely when I no longer need to even mention the past. I’m not there – here – yet. Nevertheless, I do have something I want to share. Simply, delightedly.

This art work in progress is called “The Persistence of Flowers”. I have surprises planned for this piece, though experience, particularly creative experience, never seems to go as planned. Nevertheless, it is intended to reflect the persistence of something essential through the demolition of form. I dedicate this work to all invisible agents of benevolence everywhere.

Peace and Love. Make that a Grande. Hold the fluff.



About gracekellyrivera

I am a perfumer and an artist of multiple disciplines located in California.
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1 Response to The Persistence of Flowers (Notes on Awakening)

  1. I saw the image first. I have been working on some ideas for artwork to capture aspects of this experience, and one of them has been a sense of boundless but undifferentiated space. To capture the sensation of this experience in a visual way. I find I’m remaining simple in order to convey these wordless things.

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