I was doing a painting and it needed flowers. Meanwhile I had visited aquatic gardens where gazillions of lotus bloomed and had taken photos. So I used the lotus for the flowers in the picture. I just stuck them in, floating lotus … it was a picture about dreams.
Time passed. On a lark I had looked up the “meanings” of a bunch of the things I had put in that picture. Oddly enough, the things I depicted were said to possess meanings that related to my painting’s narrative though I had not, in choosing the things, known any of the meanings beforehand. Revisiting my research now, I am reminded that the lotus symbolizes purity — that as the flower rises up from the mud of the pond and brings beauty it represents the overcoming of hardships and a triumph of light over darkness. In a different aspect, because the stem is flexible and hard to break, it also represents bonds that endure over time, bonds that cannot be broken as between lovers or friends or families.
True to my nature, I redrew the flower a bunch of times. I stumbled upon one of them in a notebook, the one above. From the darkness of the notebook interior it greets the light again.
Do the lotuses really mean the things that it’s said they mean? Is nature filled with symbols? Can it be that the meaning is not something humans imagined, but is something real? Is nature a book that’s there to read?
In the dark interior of the pond the koi swim and dream their koi dreams.