As a children's book illustrator, I was use to interpreting authors' stories through bright, happy and even humorous illustrations. It was fun, it was a way to see the positive in a day to day world that often times shows us negative images about ourselves and others. As a new parent, and much later in life than I imagined, I found myself wondering how I would raise a stable, happy, strong child? Then, the idea of Compassion came to mind. Quite an abstract idea for me, even though rationally I 'get it', it's easier to think of it than putting it into practice.
Hence, Compassion became my driving force Muse, as I transitioned from illustrating stories for others and now found myself with the task of illustrating this idea through my own life experiences in how I actually accomplished compassion through thought, speech and action toward those I was comfortable with as well as those that push, poke and provoke the non compassionate side of me.
As I work through the various sub-themes of this concept, I'm learning that Compassion is not something that you can only transmit through act, or limited to those outside of you, but instead it expands past our five senses, charitable projects or nice words...it can also be self-reflected, in non action, stopping in your tracks, or just keeping silent.
From joy to contemplation, from love to acquiring knowledge, from laughter to just listening to absolutely the still nothingness around you, from being engaged with the outside world in activism be it in person or social media, to just shutting off the computer and spending real time with someone who wasn't expecting your visit, maybe that grumpy coworker or neighbour whom you never even considered as a person, because of the simple fact that you were two polar opposites.
Compassion, she's an odd one, but an intricate, complex, provoking, wise Muse, essential for our mere survival in this ever morphing 21st century.