Ayoni is a collaborative creation by me and my roommate Redmon. Before this painting came to be I’d observed Redmon for the better part of a year, admiring his ability to create with joy and without judgement.

Having worked in communications for over 10 years, I’m forever planning, writing, rewriting and editing to create what I hope will be a perfect end product. Striving for perfection in every piece that leaves my desk has affected my ability to create with abandon.

I’d tried painting a few times before, but paralyzing fear and doubt held my creativity hostage and inhibited any connection with the canvas. One evening while sitting around our living room, I turned to Redmon and casually said  “we should paint a piece together someday.”  He immediately went upstairs and came back down with a blank canvas, brushes and paints.

My inner pushy perfectionist took over at once. She aggressively shoved my dreamy, daring creative self aside. “Whoa, whoa. What’s happening?” she asked, fully not in favour of the idea. “Right now? What will we paint? We don’t have a plan!”

Redmon would have none of it. He set up the canvas and said “come on, let’s paint.” After a bit of back and forth we settled on a chakra inspired painting. I apprehensively approached the canvas with a brush full of bright yellow paint and then stopped short. What if I mess it up? Cheered on by encouraging words, I finally made contact.  And then the creative dance began.

Out of a fiery lotus came a radiant yogini surrounded by swirls of blue, green and yellow and a violet sphere of intelligence and bliss. I felt calm, connected and happy.  Here in this moment there was little evidence that a few hours before I’d been stuck in my head, feeling like a poser.

This experience was special. For the first time in a long time, I’d let go and allowed my creative self to shine. I thank Redmon for his insistence and encouragement.

There’s a funny story behind the name of this painting that I’ll leave to the imagination. But for all of you Google detectives out there, you may easily come up with a hunch or two.

To close this post, I’m inspired to share a poem by Tagore:

Fruit-Gathering: VIII

Be ready to launch forth, my heart! and let
those linger who must

For your name has been called in the morning sky. 

Wait for none!

The desire of the bud is for the night and dew, but the blown flower cries for the freedom of light.

Burst your sheath, my heart, and come forth!

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