Awakening and Surrender

The beach at dawn, (Houghton Bay Wellington) one of my favourite places to walk the dog and feel the freshness of a new day, this is my newest painting which has been a while in its gestation! But like the rolling surf and rising tides, everything has its time…

“Awakening and Surrender” -Houghton Bay, Wellington, oil on canvas,100 x 50 cm


“We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty…..

The Greeks … raised the eye beyond the horizon and recognized the heavenly patterns of the cosmos. There they glimpsed a vision of order which was to become the heart of their understanding of beauty. All the frailty and uncertainty was seen to be ultimately sheltered by the eternal beauty which presides over all the journeys between awakening and surrender, the visible and the invisible, the light and the darkness.
The human soul is hungry for beauty… When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul. For a while the strains of struggle and endurance are relieved and our frailty is illuminated by a different light in which we come to glimpse behind the shudder of appearances and sure form of things. In the experience of beauty we awaken and surrender in the same act. Beauty brings a sense of completion and sureness. Without any of the usual calculation, we can slip into the Beautiful with the same ease as we slip into the seamless embrace of water; something ancient within us already trusts that this embrace will hold us.” ~ John O’Donohue (from Brain


see more of my paintings here…

21 thoughts on “Awakening and Surrender

  1. Would it be trite to add another ‘beautiful’ in appreciation of your painting and of the sentiment within the words? What he says is true – our souls seem to cry for beauty and know when we behold it – just like coming home. That you can capture such a scene with paints is also beautiful.


    1. I want to add, the first thing out of my mouth out loud was, “Oh wow!” Which seems to happen every time I view your paintings. Just stunning. How do you do it?
      Thank you for sharing your dawn walk along the rushing surf. I felt like I was there and will keep that feeling with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. actually it resonates with Captains’s mother…Mother Earth. We share a site/though she would hear the surf too.
        She is still hiking…almost finished πŸ˜›


  2. Once I was able to drag my eyes from your beautiful painting, I read your post. I love that site (Brain Pickings). I came across them about six months ago. They have such inspiring and interesting articles. I missed those words by John O’Donohue, so thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

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