How we respond in crisis reveals much about who we are. How we respond in victory exposes our inner character. Swallow was created initially, the underdrawing and prayers and thoughts while sitting in a pew and listening to a great man speak. The Bishop of Rwanda. John Rucyahana. He watched in horror as his family was butchered and many in his congregation were killed during the Rwandan genocide. If ever there was a man who might have a right to hate another, to justify bitterness, it is this man. And instead I listened to him talk about how to defend oneself, or how to build a business, but engage in something transcendent: brotherly kindness, love.
This painting was a journey. It is a prayer that as a community we remember to be generous and powerful where you are. That power provides for others, it does not take away. There is a great scene in the film The Count of Monte Cristo. The Count has been invited to Albert’s 16th birthday where he recounts a time he witnessed the boy’s character of great heroism in Rome. He blesses the young man, and admonishes him to live boldly. “Life”, he says, "is a storm. One moment the sun is shining on your face, the next the waves are dashing you upon the rocks. What makes you a man (what makes you strong) is what you do in that moment. Turn into the wind and say do your worst- for I will do mine.”
The Swallow is torqued in a dynamic angle symbolizing this intent to struggle with the storm brewing behind it. He looks at you, the Audience. Will you live into the difficult Deep. Living at your own expense for others? Especially in the hard times?