This is a detail from a bigger painting. Here I was thinking about humans in formation from the earth, and the two trees (that may be one tree) that also emerge from that earth, and the four rivers that flow from the center and connect everything, and shabbat that is this gentle glowing calm where everything can just be what it is for a while.
Parshat Noach is pretty heartbreaking. There’s an overwhelm that comes from a sense of inevitability. The water that washes over everything would likely be beautiful if it wasn’t so devastatingly destructive. And through it all, the tiny ark tosses about…The one glimmer of delight that I find in this Parasha, that continues a theme from Breishit, is that children can take forward the promise and beginnings of projects from their parents and bring the initial movement or idea into reality. At the end of Breishit, Metushelach has the sense that his son Noach will find a way forward (this one will bring comfort from our ways); At the end of Noach, Terach begins the move to C’naan, and action that will take on greater meaning and purpose through his son and daughter-in-law Avram and Sarai.
We are responding even when we don’t realize it, how much more powerful if we are present to that.
Re-digging the wells of our parents to reach the source of deep connection. Digging new wells in the same land as we insistently, persistently, desperately, patiently, necessarily search for our own way to access the source of meaning, the ancient life-giving waters, the Source of All.
Sun and Moon, Together is a chapbook and a father-daughter collaboration, prepared in honor of the August 2017 total solar eclipse. A mini literary magazine of sorts, it represents an initial part of a broader Atiq sun/moon project that is in the works.
Sun and Moon, Together includes different approaches by which we can observe and appreciate the spiritual significance in the cosmic presentation of the sun and moon during a total eclipse. An essay, by Nehemia Polen, explores the astronomy involved which then becomes a springboard for examining the moon in the Jewish imagination, in particular in the Rabbinic tradition. An illustrated poem by Adina Polen is a retelling of a story from the Talmud about the creation of the sun and moon and is meant for children and adults to share. Finally, a selection of family-centered discussion questions and activities are included for further exploration.
Beautifully printed, it is now available in the Atiq shop!
For the Misaviv Calendar: Two verses associated with Iyar are "אני י-ה-ו-ה רפאך" from Shmot/Exodus 15:26 (due to the acronym being Iyar), and in Kabbalistic tradition, the verse "יתהלל המתהלל השכל וידוע" from Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah 9:23. Both of these relate to the theme: a mature, fully realized self lives with a true recognition of dependance on and connection with the Divine. In this image, the circle at the center and the surrounding outer circle shape represent the sense of the outer and inner light that we aim to be connected to at all times as a whole community (סובב כל עלמין וממלא כל עלמין/ אור מקיף ואור פנימי/ Immanent and Transcendent presence of God). Within that we are each individuals (with our own details and quirks), who (the goal is) all also have the awareness of God's presence at our individual center.
Atiq: Jewish Maker Institute, founded by Adina Polen in 2017, is an applied arts yeshiva where people of all ages and backgrounds craft sacred material culture to explore the world and ourselves through the lens of Jewish heritage.
In the Studio
Oil paint on gessoed paper
A project to investigate the delicate relationships connecting people who pass each other in the street.