Once when walking in the Night, a Leopard came upon the Light.
The Light was not for see-ing, but rather Be-ing
Touched by its beam, the Leopard lost its identity
and in doing so, gained all of eternity.
This image came to me on many levels.
During my PhD career (which began somewhat roughly- I was hit by a car while walking and almost killed), I was told by an advisor that at first, some professors had come to the conclusion about me that “a leopard does not change its spots”. I had struggled early on trying to find my place in the program after such trauma, and only found my footing a year or two into it.
He later noted that he was pleased to see I had “changed my spots”.
This image was a play on that conversation. We all have the capability to change (don’t let others tell you otherwise). A big part of change, however, is sometimes giving up the unique identity (our particular spots) which we hold dear.
I liked the image of this Leopard walking at night (our lack of awareness) and once touched by the Light, the Leopard was no longer attached to its limited self-identity, and traded its particular circles for spirals, thus gaining eternity (symbolically).
YOu change your life by seeing yourself in a new way. You can not remain in darkness and change. Nor can you remain attached to your self-identity and change.
Sometimes, you have to give up a particular definition of “Self” to gain so much more. Isn’t that what all the wonderful, grand traditions tell us?
We are the Leopards walking in darkness, wondering why our spots are still the same. When we could gain eternity, if we could only give up our attachment to things staying the same.
The image also came to me b/c my stepson is doing a report on Leopards. He is very artistic and although he likes all of my work, I know he secretly believes that all my “other” art work (i.e., non-animal images) are just holding a space for the “really good” stuff to emerge (i.e. the animal image).
He is patiently waiting for me to produce a book on my “best stuff”- which would be the animals. THis is for him 🙂