The Struggle of the Phoenix, colored pencil on paper, 2017.
The Phoenix represents rebirth, a dramatic rise from the ashes of the past. But first she must fade into darkness and dust. She must dematerialize, she must, in essence become nothing. And only through that destruction can her wings beat free once more.
This motif could be used to describe any number of things, from the rise and fall of nations, to the ebb and flow of the creative pulse, and to the mental and spiritual breakdown and rebirth of any one individual. For me, it is all of these and everything in between with a constant cycle of destruction and rebirth happening at all times. There is never one moment in the world were things are static, even if they appear to be so. Change is happening everywhere, at all times, and as we die so do we help grow the seeds of tomorrow.
Sure, the breakdown is painful. It can be hellish, with some of our most favorite and cherished assumptions about ourselves and the world falling overboard. It can also be beautiful , just like a raging fire on the prairie at night can be beautiful, because new growth will happen there. Green shoots will spring up from the burnt earth and flowers will bloom, just like hope will come again in the spring of the world, and so the cycle continues, because that is the way of the world.