MEMOIR LOGO CONCEPT: The aleph and a Sufi mystic inspired my creation and design of the syzygy logo, which I initially based on the symbolism of the yin and yang.
But the concept expanded when I first saw the aleph in Judith Cornell’s
Mandala Healing Kit, My inexplicable attraction to it led me to incorporate it into my logo before I knew what it meant.
I later read that the “Aleph (the first letter of the sacred Hebrew alphabet) embodies the primordial, divine potential of the universe. ... Aleph contains all the universe’s potential and all of its emptiness simultaneously. Aleph represents a dynamic process of movement from unity to diversity and back to unity,” Jennifer Judelsohn, Songs of Creation.
And the mystic poet Rumi inspired me to use the fire and water concept after I read The Question. Here is an excerpt:
“The presence is there in front of me. A fire on the left, a lovely stream on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, into the fire. Another toward the sweet flowing water.
No one knows which are blessed and which are not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream.
A head goes under water, and that head pokes out of the fire.”
LOGO ART: Cropped fire and water images from Free Images.
LOTUS LOGO: In spiritual and religious literature, “the lotus is a symbol for the macrocosm and the microcosm, the universe and man. The lotus represents the divinity of the cosmos as well as the divinity of man.
The lotus is the center of the infinite, omnipresent consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe. Through the intuition, one of man’s divine gifts, the spiritual student can see the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within himself.”
LOTUS ART: Courtesy
Homestead, my website service provider. (Temporary art while I design of my own lotus logo.)
Tongue-lashing, tongue-bitingbest describe the experiences of my mother’s painting of the cover art for my memoir in the year 2000—when much of this work was still germinating in the recesses of my soul—yet she somehow managed to capture the imagery in the landscape of my dreams, with its menacing skies above a body of murky water as a champagne-colored Topaz, its driver haunted by demons, makes its way across a bridge.
If you look closely you can see the windshield wipers on the Mercury frantically swishing back and forth and the dim light streaming from its headlights. Anxiety and fear gripped the steering wheel. I couldn’t see where I was going. As if with me in the darkroom of my dream, my mother captured my first stab at consciousness.
But even in broad daylight, I often found myself groping around in the dark, like when I was a kid with pink eye, my eyelashes stuck together with icky yellow gunk, my arms outstretched, stubbing my toes, hobbling on one foot, and cussing out the linoleum under my breath. My mother would take me by the hand and steer me to a kitchen chair and pat my eyes with warmed tea bags and let them rest a bit. By the time she wiped my eyes with a clean cloth, I could see again—an apt metaphor for many memories of my mother, who was my favorite person on the planet since I could remember.
But when I was 30 years old, my mother ceased to exist as I knew her. A seizure erased about 15 years of her most recent life, and then some. The Scrabble champ and crossword buff and nurse and amateur painter had to learn how write and spell and mix colors all over again. The nurse, who spent her life nurturing others, had to learn how to nurse her own leg, ravaged by gangarene, for the remainder of her life to avoid amputation. And it was this mother, the woman I was just getting to know all over again, who painted the cover, this beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul-searching cover that damn near killed us both.
I am forever grateful that my Mom and I shared that time together, as difficult as it was at times, because little did I know that she would die the next year, and that her painting would be the only concrete piece of her I would have and that I could share with others as part of her legacy. Read about her terrible but miraculous recovery in chapters 32 and 33. ♂ ♀
Painting memoir cover ripped off old scabs
On an ordinary day in late fall of 1985 my mom, at age 49, works a crossword puzzle. She’s sharp. No one imagines how all our lives will change forever in just a few months.
My mother created the above painting for the cover art of my memoir—after recovering from a seizure that deprived her brain of oxygen for an hour and 20 minutes, causing brain damage that erased from her memory 15 years of our family’s greatest joys and heartaches.