The Bush is Always Burning…

The Burning Bush, by clinock. 12.5 x 17.5″. Chalk pastel and conte on paper. 2012










Poem by Rabbi Yael Levy

Whose gaze am I willing to meet?
Certainly the azalea bushes,
Ablaze in yellow and red.
Absolutely the cherry blossoms
Whose pink and white petals remain luminescent even as they fall.
And the lilacs give me no choice
Their scent reaches out
Even before I approach.

I turn aside to look.

But what about the man in the subway
Smelling of urine and weeks worth of grime?
Or the woman clutching her baby
In whose hand I place a one dollar bill?

I avert my gaze and turn away.

Today I inadvertently lifted my eyes.
First I saw a red wheelchair
And pants tucked around half a leg.
Then my gaze met another
He smiled a wide, knowing grin
And gave me a thumbs up as he rolled himself by.

The bush is always burning
Will I turn aside and look?

Tiferet: Brokenness in Beauty.
The cracks of Divinity
That allow the light to shine through.
A radiant glory permeates all creation
Will I risk the pain and joy of a broken heart
To turn aside and look?


22 thoughts on “The Bush is Always Burning…

  1. Wonderful poem by Rabbi Levy. And I really love your image. Among my faves in your recent series. I love your choice of colors and medium. I’ve not seen Chalk used quite so effectively. Well done.

    A burning bush is always challenging in that it causes us, and gives us a safe opportunity, to “see” with different eyes the divinity in all of the life cycle which includes growth and decay. Most people just want to focus on, or feel good about, birth and growth. And they reject or turn away from ugliness and the consumption of decay. But when we can look at this “other” side of things and understand, appreciate it as part of the whole we can then begin to approach the “holy”.

    Sorry for the long response but your image and the poem are truly inspiring.


    1. I am honoured by your kind words Terry, and thank you for your thoughtful comments. Decay or aging, as you well know, is simply a transformation and offers those with open eyes and minds another manifestation of beauty, whether it be rusting and weathered architecture or an old person. I like the connection you made between “whole” and “holy”…


      1. Black it is! And…here I am again, another first cup…sitting and writing about the battle last night. It is bitterly cold outside this morning, but the trees look glorious, edged in hoarfrost. Everything stands perfectly still while inside, everything is whirring. Wishing you magic today.


        1. Beautiful – here in Van it is the opposite – the wind is howling and everything is whirring outside while inside I sit perfectly still except for my dancing fingers – I wish you Magic also…


    1. I know exactly what you mean Steven – the influence would be from my Mexican experiences but that’s close enough for rock and roll – thanks for commenting…


  2. Beautiful artwork. I think the burning bush that is not consumed by fire is viewed by the church as prefiguring the virgin birth of Jesus, which is also a metaphor I suppose?


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