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Leaving the Porch Light On

Leaving the Porch Light On-2
"LEAVING THE PORCH LIGHT ON" 34"x28" by Nina Benedetto © 2010

 
During a time of estrangement, it came to me that all I could really do during the dark night of my soul was to "leave the porch light on" in hope that my beloved ones might find their way back home - as we leave a porch light on for those we trust will come home after we have gone to sleep.

That's when Eros and Psyche - in the form of Bougereau's innocent cherubs--  presented themselves to me, here looking over-exposed on the doorsteps of this old house.

The anatomical heart-shaped stencils create holes or windows like those in Swiss cheese slices. As I look at all of the images together, with the darkened background colors that resemble the underside of hand woven carpets, I have a "belly of the whale experience".  The viewer is both looking "into" the painting and also having a view "from the inside out" - like putting on a sweater in the half-light of pre-dawn.

The "inner workings" of this piece are visible in the double-exposed images of the female silhouette and the old home. "Something is going on" between the (seemingly) reality-based and metaphorical images. If you recall that Eros embodies love and Psyche means soul, and that Psyche was forbidden to see Eros, then the meaning of their tender embrace transcends our world and transports us to where the soul unites with divine love.

This is not "ordinary" ego-state love, which we give and receive, or sometimes withhold and refuse - as if love could be a commodity. This is Nirvana, where we can see the face of God and disappear into the oneness of everything.

 

 
 
 
 

 

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