Language of the Birds I

1999
acryic, ink, collage on canvas
24" x 48"
3000
Language of the Birds I

The Baal Shem Tov's teaching took hold. It seemed as if gate after gate sprang open before him, all shadows retreated, all that was murky became clear. He slowly became aware of where he was and that the sun was rising and all kinds of birds were performing their morning song. Wonderfully enough, he soon distinguished individual words and sentences. The whole was a great conversation and everything had a gay and lovely meaning!

Suddenly, the Baal Shem passed a palm of this hand lightly over the man's forehead. He forgot it all -- all that the Baal Shem had revealed to his spirit. He sat there, inconsolably empty as if burnt out, listening to the birds chirping and understanding as little as he ever had before this day -- it was nothing but an animal's simple, senseless sound.

"In wanting everything," said the Baal Shem quietly, "you are left with nothing."