Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Birth

The Goepoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943) - Salvador Dali
This time of year signifies "the hatch" and this painting, The Geopoliticus Child Watching the Birth of the New Man (1943), is a fascinating Dali that represents a hatch. 

According to the Dali Museum's website: "The man breaking from the egg emerges out of the "new" nation, America, signaling a global transformation. Africa and South America are both enlarged, representing the growing importance of the Third World, while Europe is being crushed by the man's hand, indicating its diminishing importance as an international power. The draped cloth above and below the egg represents the 'placenta' of the new nation, which, as Dali shows with a drop of blood, can only be born through much pain and suffering. An androgynous older figure stands in the foreground and points to the emerging man, acknowledging the birth of this global transformation. The cowering child with its long shadow- the 'Geopoliticus Child' of the title-represents this new age." 

Salvador Dali (1904-1989), a Spanish Catalin surrealist painter, was known for his eccentric ways and his paintings dripping with bizarre images. His artistic repertoire included film, photography, and sculpture. He collaborated with Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock. His wife, Gala, acted as his business manager and they were together for over 50 years. 

It was my youngest brother who first introduced me to Dali's work when he showed meThe Persistence of Memory. I was in junior high and remember being both disgusted and fascinated by Dali. Who was this painter who rendered such deep meaning through such extraordinary images?

When I recently came across "The Geopoliticus Child..." painting, I was awestruck by Dali's "hatch". In Dali's painting, man emerges from the shell hand first, head still locked inside, feet pushing against the interior of the shell, struggling to break free. 

Isn't that how life goes? As we being to morph into better beings, our minds are still grasping onto what is familiar, unwilling to let go -- of memories, of moments, of fears built from past experiences.  We convince ourselves that we are "safer" in the darkness of our shells.

Yet, there is something inside of us that knows we can do better or be better. So, the hatch begins. First, we chirp inside our shells to let our family and friends know we need to be different. Then, we rock back-and-forth, creating a small earthquake of sorts, to see who is coming along with us.  Once we're in position with supportive family and friends, we begin tapping at our shell, at first weak, then stronger, until a tiny shaft of gentle light breaks through. The light intensifies as our shell begins to crack away. At last, we stand free, on wobbly feet, facing our new being.

"Hatching" hurts. It requires stamina, fortitude, patience, and faith. It shakes up everything we have known and pretended to be. It demands that we create a strong belief in ourselves and conviction to our newly-discovered authenticity. 

If you're considering a "hatch" but keep falling back into that place of fear, ask yourself which is scarier: The darkness of your shell or the light of a new beginning?

An Olive Egger Hatches                  copyright Shobe Biz Communications

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