“nectar, ten thousand times” began as an homage to the hummingbird, which embodies characteristics of joy and the ability to suspend oneself, in the midst of chaos, to find the sweetness in life.1
In Native American tradition, a person has a holy encounter with an animal and the spirit of that animal will guide them. I understood that rendering an animal through art becomes such an encounter, which would bring the qualities and strengths of that animal into myself. Self-healing, in its greater context, is a healing of the world.
I also knew from Aboriginal tradition, that to render the image of a living thing is to co-create its life as well as take responsibility for its care. This guarantees a place for them to live in the world. In Biblical teaching, man is given dominion over every beast and bird and “everything… in which there is life,” Gen. 1:30. We are also given to name them.
Together I have come to understand that to name a creature, or to render its likeness, is to call forth its spirit to dwell here. To do so is a great responsibility. To not do so is to lose more than we know and so I look to the simple, ancient faith that these two actions, to name and to picture, will guide the protection and creation of life.
1Andrews, Ted, Animal Speak...
"Nectar Art Prints" is part of the "nectar, ten thousand times" series.
The original hummingbirds were painted on wood and have become
meditation icons within each print, similar to sacred art "tankas" and silk
Every hummingbird print expands in patterns of beauty. There are flowers
that would die without hummingbirds and hummingbirds survive because
of those flowers. Beauty needs beauty to live... as we do.
Beauty, in all its guises, is sacred to me. Nectar and beauty are omnipresent
and life sustaining. There is wisdom in the Asian saying, "If you have two loaves
of bread, sell one and buy a flower."
Jean Lee Habenicht