I recently painted an image of large and small swallows flying around a plum branch full of blossoms. I studied how to paint both the swallows and the blossoms in a book on Chinese Ink Painting. I usually create part of the image from life, but in this case, both parts were from a lesson. The colors also were borrowed, from a paint program on my computer. Nevertheless, after completing the image I was inspired to write a poem about it. The lesson about setting your own ego or desire to be in full color aside to support someone else is one that I have been learning recently.
“The plum blossoms glow
and seem to have a life of their own.”
said Young Swallow to his mother.
“Their colors are wonderful.”
“Yes they are. “responded Mother Swallow,
“now tell the blossoms what you see in them.”
Young Swallow faced the blossoms and said,
“I love your light violet base
and your bright red and yellow dots”
“and your pink background is an exciting contrast”
He turned back to his mother and asked,
“I wonder, though, when I praise their beauty,
why do my colors fade?
Why don’t my colors shine brightly as well?”
“You are learning to think and see beyond yourself.” replied Mother Swallow,
You have radiant colors, and you always will,
but when you focus on honoring others,
letting them know how wonderful they are,
or sharing how their beauty has touched your life,
you become white and something special happens.
Young swallow considered his mother’s riddle, and responded,
“When we become white, our contrast actually makes the colors in others shine brighter, right?”
Mother Swallow smiled and nodded, proud that her son was becoming so kind and wise.
Michael Corob 6/9/2015