I'm not a Hindu, but have a great love of the iconography, and every other religion's iconography for that matter. This image is the last thing I see at night. It causes me to ponder the nature of the universe, of life and death … but not every night. With glasses off, and in the evening light, I can imagine Shiva whirling to his right, the forces of creation and destruction kept in check - as long as that foot's up!. The whole setting here is poignant for me. Beneath Shiva is a tapestry woven by my mother when I was a child. Its colours are still vibrant, but it will fade; I wonder about the chatter, the laughs and tears, the hum of domestic life that accompanied each stitch. She wasn't a particularly patient person, so I choose to believe that this quiet, reflective pastime saw her in a good space. Beneath the tapestry is the table around which her mother, my grandmother held seances. What or who was she looking for? The mother who died giving birth to her is my guess. The stack of yet-to-read books hover. They will be full of beautiful and not-so-beautiful words, wisdoms and hopefully some laughs. In time they will be assigned to the shelves or find their way to an op-shop, but what they gave me won't be forgotten. Shiva's face, I know, is peaceful and impassive, content in the knowledge that there is a balance of forces up and down, left and right, that life and death, grief and joy are in harmony. That's a nice thought to sleep on, as long as he doesn't put that foot down. 

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AuthorAmanda Apthorpe