For nine consecutive years I have created a painting based upon a practice known as “Counting the Omer”.
The practice has ancient Biblical roots as well as contemporary adaptations. It involves a ritual counting which spans 49 days, seven weeks of seven days, the time of wandering in the dessert after liberation from slavery, until receiving the revelations at Mt. Sinai. It has evolved into an intentional practice, a period of intense introspection and spiritual growth.
For my paintings I have adopted the practice of connecting “Counting the Omer” to the seven principles of the Divine in Creation according to Kabbalah (these are known as the “Sefirot”). Focusing on the attributes of the Sefirot became a daily meditation and intention, resulting in the creation of what became one panel of the painting for each day.
Each year, when I enter into this personal journey, I experience coming “out of the narrow place of slavery”. It is a journey from self-liberation to opening, and then to receiving.
I recognize that though I enslave and liberate myself over and over, I also repetitively journey through different states of consciousness, arriving again and again at the place where I open to receive. I learn compassion for myself, and others, through accepting that it does not matter where the journey takes me, one aspect of being human is to be engaged in actively arriving.
As an artist this daily intentional practice is reflected in the final resulting piece, an Omer Painting.