Holding the book, The Flower of My Heart: Expressing Love to the World Through Art, I can feel the love resonating, reverberating, oozing, radiating, pulsing through it and from it. At the risk of sounding like a human thesaurus, I would like to express the immense energy that I know went into it, as well as comes forth. The artist/writer, Roderick Schichtel, who I have written about in previous Bliss Blog entries, is a work of he(art) himself. He refers to himself as LOVE and that is how he signs his pieces and that is what how he embues his work and his life. Whenever I am in his presence, even for a brief time, as I was last night, I always leave feeling a bit lighter, a lot loved and inspired to carry that out into the world.
I met Rod 4 or 5 years ago and upon first entering his home/haven that he called A Taste of Heaven, I felt as if I had truly stepped over a threshold into another realm. It wasn’t just the white furniture, glass table tops, and curtains hand made from white sheets (I joked with him; “No kids or animals here, huh?”) that embellished the space into which he welcomed folks for regular gatherings, music, fellowship and pot luck dinners. The walls were covered with his artwork, some of which you will see in this slim, but rich with content and flavor compilation. When life circumstances took an unexpected turn, I had the blessing of being the temporary caretaker for three of Rod’s pieces that graced my walls. They are not in the book, but can be seen on his facebook page, should you choose to ‘friend’ him there. A three piece winter landscape; the first time I saw it, I felt as if I was really traipsing, bundled up, through a snowy field of trees.
The book opens with an explanation of the spiritual journey Rod has been on that led to these magnificent creations. He felt a calling to express through the written, spoken, painted, divinely designed words and imagery, what flowed through him. Poetry and prayer, color and texture, glowing and soul grabbing. Watching him at work, as I have on a few occasions, he really IS channeling the Infinite. One of the unique aspects of his paintings, is that more often now, he initially paints words first and then covers them with images. He uses feathers to paint the words.
An example can be found on page 9. There the reader will see one of the least color splashed, but no less powerful pieces. It is in grey and white with a sun in the upper right hand corner. Foot prints lead inexorably toward it. Along the right border, are the words INTO THE LIGHT OF LOVE. From the top: “All of us on our individual and collective spiritual pathways, are always growing closer to the light, until the moment arrives when we realize we were always one with the light we were seeking.” As a colorful juxtaposition, on the next page sits a sweetly meditating gender-neutral looking bareheaded person; eyes closed beatifically, with an open third eye in the forehead. A sky blue background with a radiating glow above the crown chakra highlights it.
All of the images are a reflection of Rod’s ongoing journey and I am blessed to watch it, him and his magnificent work blossom like the daffodil image that embellishes the cover and closes the book, in full bloom. The words that are splashed across it : “In quiet moments of reflection, I open myself to God, like a flower opening itself to the sun.” He wishes the reader, “In every moment you have the ability to uplift the world. I wish you every blessing that life can hold, all the joy that comes from living with an open heart!” And my friend Rod does just that.
To order, go to his website:
This felt like an appropriate song to accompany such an entry
http://youtu.be/2GmVajkqLNU Love by John Lennon